The New Normal - Dubai’s reopening after the Corona Wave
Among many uncertainties which go along with the Corona Pandemic, one thing is for sure: Life as we knew it is a thing of the past. The way Dubai has handled this crisis – both the government as well as the public – is unparalleled and holds a role model status on a global scale. Now as the current curve of infections has reached an all-time low, the city is gradually coming back to life. In foresight of the fact that the threat of the Corona 19 virus might be here to stay, the authorities are implementing long-term measures. What these are, how they will affect our daily life and which public areas will open soon, are the topics of the article.
Enjoying life in the urban outdoors
A stroll through the park with your new date. A day on the beach with your family. Enjoying these little pleasures in life whenever we wanted came to an abrupt halt a few months back. But as the curve is visibly flattening, the authorities have begun to revive public spaces. Some beaches at hotels have already reopened. Further restrictions on business and commute have also been relaxed. For instance: The Dubai Metro system, water taxies as well as ferries. Furthermore, it is now permitted to do refunds and returns in malls. In all shops which strictly follow all precautionary measures customers are now even allowed to use the provided changing rooms.
In the coming phases, public parks have already or will be reopened. The first phase included walking, running, cycling tracks across the city of Dubai. Since May 18, around 70 neighborhood parks can be visited again. And in the final stage, all the larger parks will be able to welcome their visitors once again.
Here the details to all phases according to the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management:
Phase #1 - May 12-18
Tracks reopened in:
Al Barsha South
Parks reopened in:
Nad Al Sheba-2 parks
Al Worood in Nad Al Sheba-4
Al Twar 2 and 3 parks
Al Mizhar-1, 2 and 4
Al Qusais 2 and 3
Nadd Al Hamr Park
Al Warqaa-2 Park
Phase #2 - from May 18
70 parks, such as neighborhood parks, the Miracle Cave, and the Glasshouse in Quranic Park welcome visitors.
Phase #3 – from May 25
Reopening of larger parks like:
These opening dates are of course subject to the further development of the Covid-19 spread in Dubai. To further reduce the threat as much as possible, the authorities strictly enforce specific measures.
The long-term safety measures
Wearing face masks, washing your hand frequently, and maintaining social distancing when out and about are in fact the “new normal”. It cannot be stressed enough that loosening the restriction to public life does NOT make these essential measures obsolete. On the contrary. To further ensure the public safety, gatherings are not allowed to exceed more than five people.
The director general of Dubai Municipality – Dawood Al Hajri – recently stated: “It is also the responsibility of our community to adhere to these rules. We are all responsible for each other and we must take these measures seriously.”
Apart from the issue of meeting in public spaces like parks and beaches, the government also enforces the set rules for malls, salons, shops, and supermarkets. A small army of more than 3,000 workers conduct regular inspections throughout the city. To quote Mr. Dawood Al Hajri: "We have put 11 procedures in place at malls and retail outlets that must be enforced, and we are following up to ensure these are being met."
Not adhering to the safety rules can be costly
The UEA Attorney General Dr Hamad Said al Shamsi and his team implemented a list with fines for violating the implementations related to the Covid-19 crises. Among those are some very hefty penalties for people, who do not adhere to common sense in general and to the given laws to prevent any further spread of the virus in specific. For instance:
Dh 500 for any customer violating the closure instructions in any public space like parks, malls, gyms, etc.
Dh 50,000 for the establishment, which violates the closure instructions.
Dh 5,000 for participant and Dh 10,000 for event organizers who invites or organizes gatherings in private or public spaces.
These are only some of many fees you might have to pay, if you do not adhere to the rules like the maximum amount of five people you meet up with in a park or the beach.
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