Dubai is synonymous with malls, shopping and all things fun and glamorous. But when the decision to close all shopping malls came on March 23 as part of the COVID-19 fight, everyone took it in good spirit and stoicism. Over two months later, the city is making cautious steps to return to normal.
Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai has announced that shopping malls and the private sector can operate at 100 per cent capacity starting on June 3, 2020.
The working hours for companies and operating hours of malls should fall within the timings permitted for public movement, presently between 6 am and 11 pm. Shopping malls have the freedom to choose any set of operating hours within the period in which public movement is permitted, the committee said. But it stated that private sector employees suffering from respiratory conditions and those with compromised immunity should continue working remotely from home.
The committee urged malls to adhere to all precautionary guidelines to ensure the safety of employees and visitors. Some of the mandatory measures include frequently sterilising all facilities and common areas in malls, providing sanitisers 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.
Inspections will be made to ensure full adherence to guidelines. Both members of the public and shopping malls will be fined if they violate guidelines.