Abu Dhabi: Following an update to the Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi directive on shopping malls and commercial centres and a subsequent inspection, Aldar Properties has announced the re-opening of Yas Mall and Al Jimi Mall effective May 2. Other malls within its retail portfolio, World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (WTC), Shams Boutik at Al Reem Island, and Remal Mall in Al Ain will follow once inspections are completed. Enhanced safety measures have been put in place to ensure the highest levels of protection and hygiene for all staff and visitors as the malls resume operations.
The new directive will allow retail stores to open in addition to the pharmacies, grocery stores and supermarkets which have been trading throughout. Beauty and grooming salons will open for hair and nail appointments only with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Entertainment venues will remain closed, while food and beverage outlets can accommodate diners in groups of up to two persons per table and run the outlets at maximum 30% capacity. Take-away and home delivery service will still be available at these outlets and will be supported with online delivery options following a new agreement that Aldar has signed with Zomato.
As an innovative measure to support Yas Mall tenants, the mall has launched a ‘We Shop For You’ service for Abu Dhabi residents, now offering a virtual, cashless and convenient way of shopping through the Akyasi service complete with free-of-charge home delivery. This innovative solution offers a virtual shopping experience for the entire Yas Mall retail offer.
Saoud Khoory, Executive Director of Retail Management at Aldar, commented, “Our priority has always been to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests, tenants and employees. We have been working closely with the authorities to ensure that our assets fulfil the safety requirements and I am very pleased to announce that after accomplishing all the guidelines from DED and ensuring the safest shopping environment, Yas Mall and Al Jimi Mall are opening their doors on May 2. We look forward to welcoming our guests soon and we will maintain our continuous monitoring and doing everything we can to ensure their wellness.”
The enhanced safety measures that were implemented across the retail portfolio include the installation of thermal cameras, temperature monitoring and on-site paramedics and nurses throughout mall trading hours.
All mall staff underwent testing for COVID-19 before returning to work and will have regular temperature tests when on site. Parking is restricted to every other parking bay and guests and staff alike will be required to wear mask and gloves.
Once inside the mall, guests will find additional sanitisers at each bathroom and social distancing advisory signage throughout all open areas, including escalators. Retail outlets will accommodate one customer for every five square metres, with changing rooms closed and no exchange of items permitted. Cashless payment is encouraged to reduce physical contact and a restriction on product trials including cosmetics and shoes is in place. All touch screens have been disabled and elevator usage is restricted only for People of Determination. Additionally, seniors over the age of 60 will not be permitted in the mall to ensure their safety.
The operating hours for the malls throughout Ramadan are from 12 noon to 9pm with supermarkets and pharmacies open from 9am to midnight.