Dubai: There is good news for those who were longing to find a seat after walking for long in Dubai malls after they reopened. Public seats, that are a big solace to those who need a break while crawling the sprawling malls in Dubai, can now be used by the mall visitors.
Dubai Municipality has allowed malls to bring back the seats that had been ordered to be removed or closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 since April 2020.
The decision has been circulated to the mall managements after the civic body updated the reopening protocols that are effective from January 1, 2021.
“Public seating was prohibited in the previous circular about the precautionary measures to be followed by the malls. It has now been removed from the updated precautionary measures for reopening,” Dr. Naseem Mohammed Rafee, director of Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, confirmed to Gulf News. “A separate notification in this regard is being sent directly to all those in charge of malls and shopping centres in Dubai,” she added.
The notification, a copy of which was given to Gulf News, stated that malls and shopping centres are permitted to reopen public seating. However, it added that instructions to maintain social distancing between the users of those seats have to be provided.
Waiting benches, chairs and other public seating arrangements in shopping centres and malls were either removed or marked as prohibited to be used after the initial protocol was announced. Though malls and shopping centres were allowed to reopen with 100 per cent capacity since June 3, the public seating facilities had remained prohibited.
Relief for elderly, pregnant women
“I am super happy to hear this,” said Shaheeda Abdul Kader, a Dubai-based tweep who had sought seating arrangements for the elderly people in the malls. “This will be a big relief to elderly people like my parents, and pregnant women and all those who badly want to find a place to sit and take a break while shopping in the massive malls in Dubai,” said Shaheeda, an Indian entrepreneur-cum-investment blogger.
She said her father was struggling to walk when she visited a mall with her parents on January 2, the day she took to Twitter to share his experience. Her posts were accompanied by the hashtags #BringBackBenches #BeKindToElderly #BeKindtoPregnantWomen.
She explained that her dad was carrying a walking stick along with a seat, but it was not stable on pavements and he had fallen down.
Several others shared similar situations.