Dubai’s private sector will be responsibly back in business from today

Safety will be given utmost priority even as malls and other businesses start working at a 100% capacity.

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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It was confirmed under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Tuesday that shopping malls and other businesses will get back to working in full capacity from today.

The announcement was made by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The working hours for these reopening businesses will be between 6 AM and 11 PM which is the time currently permitted for public movement. The shopping malls can take the freedom to choose any set of working hours between the permitted time for public movement.

“The measure is a part of the gradual reopening of the economic activities while ensuring strict precautionary measures for the safety of employees, customers and visitors”, said the committee.

Operators said they had been seeing a “gradual increase in footfall” at each stage of reopening Dubai. Baiju Kurieash, managing director, BUZ Marketing – the consulting firm managing the Dubai Shopping Malls Group – said: “This is a very significant announcement, which will certainly help fast-track the recovery of the retail sector and further help build consumer confidence on the measures taken by stakeholders.

“With the full expansion of capacity, we foresee apparel and F&B businesses picking up even faster. We hope that mall entertainment and activation will be the next indicator of successful relaxation measures. The efforts are lining up very well as international flights set to pick up within the coming weeks.”

The precautionary measures provided by the committee include temperature screening for employees, customers and visitors and a provision for isolation room for suspected cases.

The employees who suffer from respiratory illnesses and compromised immunity have been advised to continue working from home.

The committee urged all employees, visitors, and customers of shopping malls and other businesses to strictly wear masks and gloves, maintain social distancing, and frequently sanitize hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

The Supreme Committee directed the shopping malls to mandatory measures that include frequently sterilizing all facilities and common areas in malls, providing sanitizers across the mall and its entrances, and screening people’s temperature at entrances to identify suspected cases and take necessary measures. All shopping malls are required to provide a dedicated room to isolate suspected cases in accordance with protocols.

The committee will conduct frequent inspections to ensure full adherence to guidelines. Both members of the public and shopping malls will face fines if they violate guidelines.