Coronavirus: UAE malls begin welcoming visitors again

Coronavirus: UAE malls begin welcoming visitors again

Abu Dhabi: After almost four weeks of closure aimed at limiting the spread coronavirus, a number of major UAE malls have begun welcoming visitors this week.

While a number of Dubai-based malls reopened Saturday, including City Centre Dubai, City Centre Mirdif and Burjuman Mall, others such as Nakheel Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall and Dragon Mart began welcoming visitors on Monday. The UAE’s largest mall – Dubai Mall – will also open partially on Tuesday, as will the Waterfront Market.

In Abu Dhabi, a date has not yet been set for the opening of shopping facilities. But preparations are underway, with coronavirus screenings for personnel and tenants being undertaken at the moment in collaboration with public health facilities.

In line with government directives, all re-opened facilities have been thoroughly sterilised and deep cleaned, and they will continue to be sterilised throughout the day even after resuming operations. Thermal scanners have also been installed at entry points to monitor the temperature of visitors and personnel.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak is still evident, mall-going will now have to be a changed activity. Shoppers have been encouraged to visit only when necessary, and to maintain social distancing. They must also wear masks at, and a visit should not exceed three hours.

Residents aged 60-years and older, as well as children below the aged of 12, are not allowed to visit malls at present, and only about 25 per cent of parking spaces will be made accessible in a bid to prevent overcrowding. Similarly, mall capacity cannot exceed 30 per cent.

Entertainment and leisure venues like cinemas and gyms will however remain closed, as will prayer rooms and changing rooms. Restaurants and cafes are allowed to entertain customers, but in Abu Dhabi outlets, only four people will be allowed per table.