A mobile phones shop in Dubai. The businesses closing down can continue online sales and e-commerce activities during the closure period Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Economy has directed commercial establishments in the emirate to close down for two weeks starting on March 25 in line with the preventive measures announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commercial establishments to close

All shops, except outlets such as grocery stores, supermarkets, cooperative societies, and pharmacies that provide for the basic needs of residents, have to remain closed from today until April 8.

The businesses closing down can continue online sales and e-commerce activities during the closure period.

Dubai Economy (also called Department of Economic Development) has, however, allowed supermarkets, cooperative societies, grocery stores and pharmacies to remain open for 24 hours starting March 25.

These shops stay open

  • Bakeries
  • Car workshops and other workshops
  • Laundries
  • Technical and electrical services providers
  • Food delivery and transport services
  • Restaurants and cafes in hotels and hotel apartments
  • Food orders via takeaways
  • Exchange houses and clinics
  • Banks

The authority has alos said that the number of shoppers at any time in these outlets must not exceed 30 per cent of capacity and customers should maintain a social distance of two metres from each other.

The closure directive applies to commercial outlets across the main markets as well as streets and shopping malls in Dubai.

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Image Credit: Gulf News

Fish, meat, and vegetable markets (except wholesalers supplying to supermarkets); shisha cafes; gyms and fitness centres; theme parks; amusement centres and electronic games (e-games) outlets, cinemas, men’s and women’s salons, massage parlours and spas, and spring camps should all remain closed during the two-week period.

So what is closed?

  • Commercial outlets across main markets
  • Fish, meat, and vegetable markets (except wholesalers supplying to supermarkets)
  • Shisha cafes
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Theme parks, amusement centres and electronic games (e-games) outlets
  • Cinemas
  • Men’s and women’s salons
  • Massage parlours and spas
  • Spring camps

Businesses exempted from closing include bakeries, car workshops and other workshops, laundries, and technical and electrical services providers.

Restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops, and food services establishments should also close but restaurants and cafes operating in hotels and hotel apartments to serve their guests as well as food delivery and transport services can remain open.

Customers can order for takeaways and delivery from restaurants. Restaurants within shopping malls can offer takeaway and delivery services subject to approval of the mall management.

Banks will continue to operate normally unless any other directive is issued by the UAE Central Bank. Exchange houses and clinics can also continue to operate as usual with due regard to the guidelines on sanitisation and social distancing.

Dubai Economy will conduct inspection campaigns to ensure that commercial establishments adhere to all the guidelines in the closure circular.