Dubai malls, businesses to 'fully operate' from Wednesday
Issued on: Modified:
Shopping malls in Dubai will fully reopen for business on Wednesday, in the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions, the emirate's media office announced.
The step makes the glitzy city-state the first in the Middle East to drop nearly all restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus that hit retailers and leisure activities.
Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, had already shortened a nighttime curfew to just seven hours starting from 11 p.m. (1900GMT).
"Shopping malls and private sector businesses in the emirate will fully operate at 100 percent from tomorrow, Wednesday," the Dubai Media Office tweeted on Tuesday.
Dubai's shopping centres include the Mall of the Emirates, which has its own indoor ski slope, and Dubai Mall, adjacent to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest structure.
"The move aims to ensure the private sector is able to resume normal activity without compromising on preventive steps to protect people's health and safety," a media office statement said.
Preventative measures include wearing face masks, maintaining a minimum distance of two metres (around 6 feet) between individuals, and the regular use of hand sanitiser, the statement added.
Dubai has the most diversified economy in the Gulf, relying on trade, retail, tourism and real estate.
Its neighbour Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital, cordoned off the city and banned travel between regions in the emirate for a week starting Tuesday.
The UAE has so far recorded more than 35,000 cases of the COVID-19 respiratory disease, including 269 deaths.
© 2020 AFP