Dubai malls and offices ordered to be ready for structured reopening

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Malls in Dubai | Representational Image

Dubai’s government has ordered malls to be ready for a progressive re-opening, with heavy safety precautions to be put in place to restrict the spread of the coronavirus and protect staff and customers according to the officials.

In a report outlining protocols for the first step of a four-stage gradual re-opening of major retail services, Dubai Economy said that visitors to malls and staff must wear masks at all times, with hand sanitizers installed throughout the premises.

The report gave no date for the re-opening of malls, but it said operators should be ready for an advisory soon.

Dubai Mall, UAE

Additionally, all malls must conduct sanitization 24 hours a day and perform a screening process that checks the temperature and health of everyone who enters. The malls must also have a compulsory quarantine area to isolate potential COVID-19.

People in Dubai Mall

Distancing, Occupancy
Other steps included in the report say people must assure 2 meters of social distancing, and maintaining occupancy at to 30 percent across all common and gross leasable areas.

Restaurants and other Food & Beverages outlets will have to reduce occupancy to 30 percent and must have seating and tables at least six feet apart.

Both stores and restaurants must hang a red tag on the door displaying the maximum number of customers to be allowed inside, based on a social distance of four feet.

Tourist attractions
The report also adds that entertainment, and tourist attractions – such as the Dubai Fountain – must remain closed for the first stage of the process.

Visitors to malls will only be allowed to be there for three hours, with the mall itself allowed to operate for 10 hours. Adults over 60 and children between three and 12 will not be allowed to enter.

A similar paper with the same steps was issued in Abu Dhabi by the Department of Economic Development.

The Dubai Economy document also outlined initial guidelines for offices. Employees will be required to wear masks at all times, maintain 2 meters distancing, and maintain occupancy at 30 percent.

Building and office hours will not exceed 8 hours a day. Meetings will be restricted to 5 people or less, with the 2-metre social distancing guidelines still in place.


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