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Dubai residents finally get a chance to get some sun, sand and exercise on the first day of Ramadan after Dubai authorities lift movement restrictions caused by the Cover 19. Picture taken on 24th April, 2020. Photo Clint Egbert/Gulf News Image Credit:

Dubai: The government’s decision last Thursday to partially lift movement restrictions means people can now go out between the hours of 6am to 10pm without a permit.

But are residents in a rush to go outside? Gulf News asked a few and found out that they are in no hurry.

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Elena Pak Image Credit: Supplied

Russian expat Elena Pak, 34, says she is still only going out for essential groceries.

“At the most, I am ready to meet a friend in a coffee shop after Iftar,” she said.

An avid cook with a love for Korean cuisine, Pak stepped out to buy special ingredients so she could prepare her favourite food.

“The first thing I did was shop at a place that specialises in Korean spices and ingredients. I could not resist this.”

Pak came back home and cooked a special rice pancake and soybean stew.

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Ritupuri Bhargava Image Credit: Supplied

For Ritupuri Bharghava, originally from India, it was refreshing to get out.

“I took my bike out and circled around my community in Jumeirah,” she said. “Of course I had my mask on. Later I went for a nice long stroll. I was missing exercising in the outdoors and that is the first thing I did when the government announced the lifting of movement restrictions.”

Another Indian expat Sonia C said her parlour visit has been long over due. “So it will be a visit to the parlour on Sunday,” she said.

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Jarryd Goodman Image Credit: Supplied

Jarryd Goodman, a 34-year-old South African expat said it is business as usual for him. Working in the construction industry, one of the exempt sectors during the 24-hour sterilisation drive, Goodman said he has been out daily for work and essential shopping, just like he would do on any other day. What was different however, was the less traffic on road. “Trust me when I say this, it was so peaceful driving to my construction site and office every day.”

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Anand and Arya Ranganath Image Credit: Supplied

Anand Ranganath, a 51-year-old Indian expat added, “For me personally the movement restrictions lifted has been liberating. I can now freely walk my dog. Pets especially dogs need to be taken out for a walk twice a day. They don’t understand COVID-19 restrictions. During the 24-hour sterilisation drive it was unclear for pet owners if they could walk their dogs or not. It was difficult for us containing our dog Flex at home. Now finally we both (Flex and I) get to do our cherished walks.

For two other expats Darren Farrel, from Ireland and Maria Heaven, from Russia, it is all about staying indoors.

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Darren Farrel Image Credit: Supplied

“I am not stepping out until everything is over. I don’t want to add to the situation. I work from home and have not stepped out at all,” said Farrel.

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Maria Heaven Image Credit: Supplied

Heaven agreed, “I have not been out in two months. I work from home and do all my shopping including groceries online.”

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Zachary Koenig practicing skateboarding Image Credit: Supplied

Sabine Haas, a French – American expat living in Dubai said while she personally has not stepped out of her house, her two children Zachary and Margot, have been to the mall already and have gone skate-boarding in Dubai Marina. “The children have been longing to get out,” she said.