From shutdowns to travel restrictions

The knock-on effects from the coronavirus outbreak have come rapidly over the past week, with many countries closing their borders and major cities going into lockdown.

Over the past week, there have been many changes that have taken place in Dubai. From shutdowns to travel restrictions here’s eight new rules that have come into effect for UAE citizens and residents over the last week.

Travel restrictions

On Wednesday a temporary travel ban was imposed on all UAE citizens. Similarly, effective as of noon today, those who are UAE residents who are out of the country will not be allowed to re-enter the UAE for the next two weeks.

Mall of the Emirates opening times change

Majid Al Futtaim — the operator of Mall of the Emirates and Mirdif City Centre, City Centre Deira and City Centre Al Shindagha — stated its malls operating hours would now be reduced from 12pm to 8pm.

Mall of the Emirates reduces trading hours coronavirus

There has been no confirmation on how long this will be in effect for. Normal opening hours for the malls were from 10am to 10pm.

However, the statement confirmed Carrefour and pharmacies were exempt from the changed opening hours, and will “remain open as per their original schedule”.

Public prayers cancelled

On Monday, the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority and General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments stated all prayers at mosques, churches and temples will temporarily be cancelled for the next four weeks in a bid to contain the spreading of coronavirus, and to safeguard public health of UAE citizens and residents.

Bars shutdown

It has been announced all Dubai pubs, bars and lounges are to close until the end of March amidst the global coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, all bars, pubs and lounges have been instructed to close effective immediately for the next two weeks.

Mercury Bar Dubai

“In line with Dubai Government precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of its residents and visitors; Dubai Tourism notifies all bars, pubs and lounges (including bars within restaurants) to close with immediate effect from today (Monday 16 march 2020) till the end of March,” the statement said.

It was stated that Dubai Tourism would continue to evaluate “the situation in coordination with the health authorities”.

All events in Dubai postponed

Last Saturday, it was announced via the official Dubai Media Office Twitter account “all events in Dubai should be suspended from Sunday 15 March 2020 [until] the end of the month”.

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing also directed all entertainment destinations, hospitality establishments and wedding halls to “suspend” operations from 15 March until the end of the month.

Visa cancellation

As of March 17, all entry visas to the United Arab Emirates have been suspended. While visas on arrival were still permitted for certain countries, that has now changed. From March 19 there will be no visas on arrival issued until further notice.

Restrictions on restaurants

Restrictions on Dubai restaurants have been placed. Dubai Municipality called on food establishments in Dubai to comply with a number of directives in order to further reduce the spread of coronavirus.

restaurants close dubai coronavirus

There are new requirements to abide by including: food establishments should not sell more than 50 meals per order; no customers in the waiting areas; and seating tables should be spaced to ensure two metres at least inbetween; and more.

Gyms and spas close

Massage parlours, spas would close, gyms, parks and cinemas are all closed until the end of March.

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Images: Instagram/Supplied. Feature Image: Abdulaziz Al Bastaki