Dubai: Authorities announced an ease in Dubai's 24-hour COVID-19 movement restrictions on April 23 which also allowed for the partial opening of malls and shopping centres.
As a precaution, residents are discouraged from non-essential mall visits while malls have been given strict guidelines and conditions on reopening. Disinfection and social distancing form the crux of these guidelines.
Dubai Mall announced via Twitter that the mall would reopen with partial closures on April 28, Tuesday. “For now, our doors will remain closed as we prepare for your safe return. For essential services updates please visit The Dubai Mall app for further information. We look forward to welcoming you back soon and would like to wish you a blessed Ramadan Kareem,” the tweet said on Friday.
City Centres Deira and Mirdif, and Burjuman mall opened on Saturday, April 25 with partial closures in place. The malls will be open from 12pm to 10pm. Dubai Outlet Mall
Leisure and entertainment outlets, changing rooms, prayer rooms, and cinemas will remain temporarily closed at all malls.
"In addition, in accordance with the rules issued by governmental authorities, persons over the age of 60 years and children aged between 3 and 12 years will not be permitted to enter the mall," City Centre Deira said on their website. Valet parking also remains unavailable at all malls.
Mall of the Emirates also announced similar guidelines. Entertainment venues attached to malls, such as the Dubai Fountain (Dubai Mall) and Ski Dubai (Mall of the Emirates) will remain closed as well.
Dubai Outlet Mall tweeted a video of their sterilisation procedures. The timings there are from 12pm to 9pm, according to the video posted.
Carrefour supermarkets and hypermarkets will operate as usual from 9am to 10pm, the malls announced. During the 24-hour restrictions in place, supermarkets in malls were allowed to remain open to facilitate essential purchases of residents.
Nakheel Malls is set to reopen Nakheel Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart among other outlets on Monday.
Their reopening strategy includes COVID-19, tests for all customer service desk staff, sanitisation tunnels at its largest malls, a 30 percent increase in security staff and an extensive pre-opening disinfection programme, currently under way, at all locations. All customers, shop staff and information desk employees need to pass a thermal screening test before entering the premises.
Sanitisation tunnels are installed at larger malls for key workers, such as shop staff and delivery drivers.
Deep disinfection is taking place at all locations prior to opening, Nakheel Malls told WAM, with an intensified sanitisation programme – including high touch point sterilisation every 30 minutes and regular cleanliness inspections by government authorities – continuing once operations begin.
Nakheel Malls is set to launch a new service, under which goods can be ordered online and picked up at a dedicated collection point, further benefiting customers and retailers.
Guidelines on malls, shopping centre openings
Going to the mall
- Everyone has to wear a mask or face a Dh1,000 fine. Visitors will be subject to temperature checks at entrances.
- Malls and shopping centres will have 24-hour sterilisation operations.
- The public should visit a mall only when absolutely necessary.
- Seniors (above the age of 60) and children (3 to 12 years) will not be allowed to enter malls.
- As part of a new mandatory policy, purchases cannot be returned or exchanged at all stores and outlets, unless there is a defect.
- Malls and outlets are encouraged to use smart and electronic payment methods and avoid the use of cash.
Timings, social distancing
- A mall visit cannot extend over three hours.
- Shopping malls, markets and commercial outlets are allowed to open daily to the public from 12pm to 10pm.
- Restaurants and shops are allowed to operate at a maximum of 30 percent capacity. and will not be allowed to hold any events to avoid congestion and crowding.
The first hour of parking in shopping malls will be free. Only 25 per cent of the parking spaces will be open in order to reduce overcrowding in malls.
Valet parking will not be available.
Following the ease in restrictions, Dubai residents will not be allowed to move outdoors from 10pm to 6am during the national sterilisation drive, unless it is a medical emergency.