Reform Social & Grill was one of the restaurants offering a discount to those who were vaccinated. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai restaurants have begun offering discounts to customers who have been inoculated against coronavirus, amid a vaccination drive as the emirate seeks to fight the pandemic.

Around 2.5 million residents of about 10 million have already been vaccinated, the second highest rate globally after Israel.

"Spread love, not Rona," say social media posts for three restaurants run by Gates Hospitality, offering a 10 per cent discount to residents who have taken the first dose of a vaccine and 20 perc ent for those who have taken two.

Diners must show proof of vaccination, such as a medical certificate, to get the discount.

While some people welcomed the move, it raised eyebrows on social media. "There's two ways to look at it, either it's another marketing stunt, or a genuine motivation to get more people vaccinated," said one tweet.

The UAE offered residents the vaccination for free in December after approving both Sinopharm and PfizerBioNTech.

Over the weekend the guidelines were tightened, with the number of people allowed at social gatherings such as weddings, slashed from 200 to 10, while restaurants and cafes ordered to increase spacing between tables from two metres to three.

The emirate has also suspended non-essential surgery in hospitals.