Dubai: The introduction of a new set of precautionary measures in Dubai was prompted by a spate of recent violations, necessitating a preventative approach for hotels with high occupancy to avoid their recurrence, a top official has revealed to Gulf News.
In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Ahmad Al Falasi, CEO, Corporate Services and Investment, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), outlined the new set of precautionary measures against COVID-19 that kicked in on February 2. The measures, announced by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, will be effective till February 28.
Al Falasi said, “All hotel establishments shall operate at 70 per cent occupancy level. For existing hotels operating at occupancy level above 70 per cent, no new bookings or extensions shall be made until the hotels adhere to the aforementioned limit in addition to postponement of any activity that leads to large gatherings such as weekend brunches.”
He said, “The new precautionary measures have been adopted as a result of recent violations. A preventative approach has been taken for hotels with high occupancy to avoid occurrence of violations.”
The official warned that failure to comply with precautionary measures will result in serious action against the venue. “The safety and wellbeing of all is our utmost priority and we look forward to the continued support of hotels in Dubai in ensuring compliance with all precautionary measures,” he added.
Can Dubai bars and pubs serve food?
Al Falasi said, “As per the new precautionary measures set by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, all pubs and bars should be temporarily closed from February 2 until the end of February 2021.”
PCR test requirements for Dubai tourists
He said, “All passengers arriving in Dubai from any point of origin (GCC countries included) must hold a negative COVID 19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.”
He said Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world to visit with a wide range of protocols in place to ensure the safety of tourists at every stage and touchpoint of their travel journey, from arrival to departure.
“The effective precautionary measures implemented by Dubai have been endorsed by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which gave the city a Safe Travels stamp. The air travel protocols cover all types of international tourists and include a negative PCR test certificate which they must furnish on arrival at Dubai Airports with the test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure,” he stated.
Sanitisation of hotels
Al Falasi said, “Alongside other relevant authorities, we continue to prioritise, monitor and assure the safety and well- being of all and work closely with our stakeholders to ensure that the stringent protocols issued are being adhered to.”
He reiterated that all hotel establishments, “including their facilities and restaurants are required to implement social distancing amongst diners, sanitise common areas frequently, encourage contactless payments and get all staff to wear their masks, while diners can remove their masks when they sit at their table.”
He said Dubai had also introduced the Dubai Assured Stamp in July after being awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council). The stamp serves as a visual identity reassuring guests that all safety and hygiene measures prescribed by the authorities have been complied with across all tiers and categories of tourist and resident touchpoints such as hotels, attractions and restaurants. The Dubai Assured Stamp is valid for 15 days and renewed in line with the regular inspection process.
“We will continue working closely with our partners and carry out regular site inspections to ensure that all safety protocols are being adhered to, and failure to comply will result in serious action against the establishment,” he said.
“Ultimately, all of us are responsible to overcome this challenging time,” he added
Do’s and don’ts for residents, tourists
• All residents and tourists are required to adhere to all precautionary measures and most importantly to wear their masks in public places and maintain social distancing.
• Always practice basic hygiene and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.