Dubai details of what’s open and what’s closed

By Eudore R. Chand

Malls closed

DUBAI 26 March 2020: Dubai Economy has directed commercial establishments in the emirate to close down for two weeks starting yesterday in line with the preventive measures announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a press release issued by Dubai Economy on Wednesday, all shops – except for grocery stores, supermarkets, cooperative societies, and pharmacies that provide for the basic needs of residents – have to remain closed from 25th March, up until 8th April 2020.

Businesses closing down can continue online sales and e-Commerce activities during the closure period, it added.

Essentials open 24|7

Dubai Economy has allowed supermarkets, cooperative societies, grocery stores and pharmacies to remain open 24/7 starting today.

However, the number of shoppers at any time in these outlets must not exceed 30 percent of capacity and customers should maintain a social distance of two metres from each other.

The closure directive applies to commercial outlets across the main markets as well as streets and shopping malls in Dubai.

Fish, meat, and vegetable markets closed

Fish, meat, and vegetable markets (except wholesalers supplying to supermarkets); shisha cafes; gyms and fitness centres; theme parks; amusement centres and electronic games (e-Games) outlets, cinemas, men’s and women’s salons, massage parlours and spas, and spring camps should all remain closed during the two-week period, Dubai Economy asserted.

Exemptions: Businesses exempted from closing include bakeries, car workshops and other workshops, laundries, and technical and electrical services providers.

Restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops, and food services establishments should also close but restaurants and cafes operating in hotels and hotel apartments to serve their guests as well as food delivery and transport services can remain open.

Customers can order for takeaways and delivery from restaurants. Restaurants within shopping malls can offer takeaway and delivery services subject to approval of the mall management.

Banks Open

Banks will continue to operate normally unless any other directive is issued by the UAE Central Bank. Exchange houses and clinics can also continue to operate as usual with due regard to the guidelines on sanitisation and social distancing.

Dubai Economy will conduct inspection campaigns to ensure that commercial establishments adhere to all the guidelines in the closure circular.

Dubai ban on trucks temporarily lifted

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and Dubai Police announced they have temporarily lifted the ban on the movement of empty trucks weighing 2.5 tonnes on roads in Dubai.

The lifting of the ban excludes the Airport and Shindagha Tunnels as well as Al Maktoum and Floating Bridges. Similarly, the previous ban on the movement of trucks transporting hazardous materials remains in force.

The lifting of the ban will remain in place throughout the period of precautionary measures put in place by authorities against coronavirus, Covid-19, according to Government of Dubai Media Office.

“The decision aims to ease the movement of trucks and streamline the delivery of consumables to the market,” the two authorities said, calling on truck drivers to comply with traffic and driving rules, and use lanes dedicated for trucks on highways.

Dubai Chamber suspends Customer Happiness Centres

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced that it is suspending its Customer Happiness Centre operations at its main headquarters and its branches across the emirate as of tomorrow, 26th March, and has encouraged customers to use its smart services that can be accessed via the organisation’s digital channels.

Dubai Chamber’s Jebel Ali branch will be implementing the same measures, as well as its offices at the Dubai Airport Free Zone and the Al Aweer Dry Port. The closures are part of the precautions undertaken in collaboration with relevant entities to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Dubai Chamber’s smart services include Certificate of Origin, attestation, membership, business research and intelligence, legal information service, issuance of ATA Carnet, Dubai Chamber CSR Label, credit rating, business groups and councils, and many other services available for economic and business organisations.

The membership services comprise the issuance, renewal and amendment of memberships, while the ATA Carnet services cover the issuance, amendment, and replacement of a lost Carnet. The Certificate of Origin services include issuing, amending and requesting an additional certificate, while the legal information service provides legal representation and information.

The business research and intelligence service includes research studies and the issuance of reports and recommendations. The business groups and councils service includes the issuance of authorisations and renewal permits for councils and business groups, while the attestation service covers the ratification of signatures, copies and stamps.

Dubai Chamber is working to transform its customer happiness centres into smart centres this year, introducing smart services and setting up smart kiosks all around the emirate, particularly in areas that attract businesses, such as free zones.

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