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Rush hour at a restaurant in Garhoud, Dubai. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The COVID-19 pandemic has had little impact on investors launching new food establishments in Dubai, figures released by Dubai Municipality revealed on Tuesday. As many as 1,303 new eateries were opened in the emirate during 2020, at a rate of 3.5 establishments per day, the civic body said.

With this, the total number of food establishments in the emirate at the end of last year reached 19,259, said Sultan Ali Al Taher, Director of the Food Inspection Section at Dubai Municipality. He said the figure is expected to reach 20,000 by the time Expo 2020 Dubai starts this October. “The increasing number of new food outlets in Dubai is due to the fact that the emirate enjoys enormous global reputation and great confidence among investors, in addition to consumers’ confidence in the regulatory authorities that ensure the health and safety of food in the emirate,” he stated in a press release.

“The food safety system in Dubai is distinguished by being a smart system, which has made the emirate one of the best cities in the world in this field,” Al Taher explained. He noted that many international food outlets want to open their branches in Dubai. The reason for this increased global interest in this field was attributed to the procedures and legal framework that provide all possible facilities to conduct business and also to the growing confidence among different sectors and investors.

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“When the year 2020 witnessed the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries of the world, Dubai took all necessary preventive and precautionary measures, which strengthened its position as one of the safest and most secure cities in the world, thereby further confirming its commitment towards ensuring the health and safety of its residents and visitors that comes on top of its priorities,” pointed out Al Taher.

Dubai Government has also provided support to the economic sectors through economic stimulus packages to ensure business continuity and sustainability and succeeded in the gradual return to normal economic activities, with the directions of the wise leadership and a more flexible working style, added Al Taher.