UAE shuts beaches, parks, pools, cinemas and gyms over coronavirus - GulfToday

UAE shuts beaches, parks, pools, cinemas and gyms over coronavirus


People take a sunbath along the Jumeirah Beach in Dubai on Sunday, following its closure by authorities. AFP

The United Arab Emirates is shutting beaches, parks, pools, cinemas and gyms from Sunday for two weeks over coronavirus concerns, the state news agency WAM said on Saturday.

Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to operate for the same period at 20% of capacity, and as long as customers are at least two metres apart, and for delivery services, subject to review.

Dubai-Beach-5-750x450Residents swim in the water at Jumeirah Beach residence in Dubai. AFP

Dubai carrier Emirates Airlines announced on Saturday it would suspend flights to dozens more cities, taking its total route closures past 100, in a bid to forestall the spread of coronavirus.

DubaiParkClosedA woman poses for a picture at the Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. AFP

The UAE on Friday announced its first two deaths from the disease. Total recorded infections in the UAE stood at 153, of which 38 have recovered.

The latest suspensions by Emirates Airlines take the carrier's total closed routes to 111.

The airline normally serves 159 destinations.

Dubai-Creek-750An aerial view of Dubai Creek. AFP

"In response to the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, Emirates is taking extra steps that go above and beyond industry and regulatory requirements to ensure our customers' health and comfort," the company said in a statement.


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Emirates said flights to some destinations would be suspended for up to three months while others, including to Paris, Frankfurt and Islamabad "until further notice".

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai banks have come together to offer a comprehensive relief package to help their customers ease financial pressures in the current economic environment caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Dubai-Desert-750 Arabian oryx pictured against the backdrop of the imposing Dubai skyline. AFP

The measures announced by the banks seek to support the UAE Government and the UAE Central Bank six-month economic stimulus package and the Dubai Government three-month economic stimulus package to support the business sector in the UAE and Dubai. Leading Dubai banks that have joined the effort to provide relief to their customers include Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai.

Measures by commercial banks with effect from 1 April to 30 June, 2020 (Emirates NBD, Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai):

Individual customers:

-Retail loan customers who have been placed on unpaid leave by their employers can approach the bank for repayment holiday of up to three months with zero interest and fees.

-Customers who have availed personal loans, auto loans or mortgages can apply for a one-month repayment holiday with zero fees.

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