Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
Exhibitions and conferences at Dubai World Trade Centre have all been suspended, according to a circular issued by the Department of Economic Development. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: All business events’ permits across the emirate of Dubai have been suspended until March 31, announced the Department of Economic Development (DED).

On Wednesday, the DED issued a circular stating that: “In line with ongoing efforts to safeguard public health, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai temporarily pauses the issuance of all business events’ permits, including conferences, exhibitions and meetings, until the end of March 2020.”

The move is line with the UAE’s efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

On Tuesday night, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the number of infections to 113 in the UAE.

To encourage employees to work remotely and cut back on meetings and face-to-face interactions, Dubai Media Office released a video to show how Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, chaired a meeting via a work remote system.

On the social media post, Sheikh Hamdan said: “Today, we held a virtual [Executive Council of Dubai] meeting in compliance with directives issued by competent authorities, to preserve the health and safety of our community. We all have a role to play, and we rely on your cooperation.”

“Dubai and the UAE have the capabilities conquer all challenges. All measures taken at a state level and in Dubai are first and foremost aimed at protecting our community. We put this goal above all else. It is our national duty to adhere to the advice of competent authorities and our leaders are truly leading by example in this. To all government, semi-government and private entities: thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure our community is safe and protected. And to the unsung heroes who work round-the-clock to ensure the comfort, health and safety of all – we salute you and admire your selfless efforts.”

During the meeting, Sheikh Hamdan said navigating the challenges posed by the current global situation requires a strong spirit of collaboration as well as temporary changes to our lifestyle and increased awareness about essential preventive measures. Lessons learned from this experience will benefit everyone and will be part of plans to boost immunity and enhance crisis preparedness, he said.

Dubai's advanced infrastructure and robust preparedness to deal with any crisis have been made possible by the progressive vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan added. Furthermore, the strong collaboration between government entities has ensured the seamless delivery of high quality government services.

Sheikh Hamdan stressed on the importance of adhering to all preventive procedures outlined by concerned authorities in the country. Following these procedures is key to maintaining thesafety of community, he said. He also highlighted the importance of following the precautionary protocols and guidelines of relevant authorities and the World Health Organisation.

The council discussed a number of other topics including activation of remote working systems at government entities and the provision of the smart tools and platforms required for employees to work remotely and maintain high levels of customer service continuity.