Dubai: The UAE government announced on Tuesday that shopping malls and private sector businesses in Dubai will be back to operating at 100 per cent capacity from Wednesday, June 3.
So I decided to check out the mall and see whether it was possible to enforce social distancing with everyone allowed inside.
The short answer is: Yes
The long answer is: I went during low peak hours, so social distancing wasn’t a challenge. Additionally, malls in Dubai are some of the largest in the world, so they could always feel more on the spacious side.
Moreover, some UAE residents are still feeling a little bit apprehensive to go out, so that 100 per cent capacity might not reach capacity, for a lack of a better word.
What has changed?
• More parking spaces are available for the public. If you visited the mall as they first re-opened, then you would have noticed that many parking spots were cordoned off. Today, when I went, I saw that many parking spots were made available.
• Restaurants inside malls have increased their capacities from 30 per cent up to 50 per cent.
• You will notice an increase of hand sanitisers across the mall and its entrances.
• All shopping malls also have a dedicated room to isolate suspected cases in accordance with protocols.
Which rules still apply?
• Masks and gloves are still mandatory. This rules has been there from the start and remains unchanged.
• Mall workers are conducting temperature checks at every entrance.
• The age rule still applies. No one over 60 or under 12 is allowed to access the malls.
• Shopping malls have the freedom to choose any set of operating hours within the period in which public movement is permitted, i.e. from 6am to 11pm. At the moment, most malls in Dubai are operating from 10am to 10pm.
• Stores within the malls still have a limit on how many people can enter.
• The two-metre social distancing rules still apply within the mall with stickers and posters all over the malls reminding visitors to maintain distance.
• If you want to access the changing room, you are not allowed more than five pieces in total. Not at once, but in total. So make sure you try things on wisely.
• These decisions are part of the gradual reopening of economic activities in the emirate and efforts to restore normalcy, while ensuring precautionary measures are strictly enforced.