Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Shoppers in all emirates are now glad at the reopening of their favourite shopping destinations after over two months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With all safety measures, including the sanitisation guidelines approved by the government for the residents, two major malls in Ras Al Khaimah have been reopened.
Benoy Kurien, Group CEO of Al Hamra said, “As per the directives of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development, we have reopened our two shopping malls — Al Hamra Mall and Manar Mall in Ras Al Khaimah, which will operate from 10am till 10pm. He further said shoppers are mandated to wear gloves and masks at all times while maintaining a safe social distance of 2.5 metres. “Visitors under 12 and over 60 are not permitted for their own safety. Car parking has been reduced by 50 per cent in order to facilitate social distancing while facilities such as valet parking and car wash will remain suspended.
“As part of safety protocol, thermal scanners have been installed at the entrance of the malls to check the temperature of visitors; anyone above 38˚C will not be permitted to enter.
“We have worked closely with our tenants to ensure that they provide our customers with a safe and comfortable shopping and dining experience. The gymnasium, cinemas, public sitting areas, changing rooms, prayer rooms, and leisure and entertainment attractions will remain closed for now.
He pointed that they have implemented a comprehensive set of measures and precautions in compliance with the issued guidelines to ensure the malls are fully prepared and safe to receive visitors. “The safety of our customers, partners and employees is our utmost priority and we will continue to support and adhere to the guidelines issued by the authorities at all times.
“We are grateful to the UAE government and Department of Economic Development of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKDED) for their tireless efforts and initiatives in ensuring the safety and well-being of residents, and to drive business continuity.”
The Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development, RAKDED, issued two circulars on Monday outlining a series of requirements and procedures for reopening restaurants, cafes and gyms in the emirate, each of which will be allowed to resume operations as of Wednesday, 3rd June, 2020, provided they meet certain requirements.
These measures are in line with precautions undertaken to ensure the health and safety of customers while ensuring business continuity and maintaining RAK’s sustainable development.
In this first circular RAKDED has urged all restaurants and cafes to conduct COVID-19 examinations on all employees to ensure they are negative, sending any staff members who have developed respiratory symptoms home and committing them to seek medical attention immediately. Employees are required to wear protective masks and gloves as a precautionary measure, while customers are encouraged to do the same.
The circular called for shisha to be prohibited in the first phase of implementation — a requirement that will be re-evaluated in the future in accordance with the directives of health authorities in the UAE. Comprehensive and periodic sanitisation must be conducted, in addition to disinfecting equipment each morning, evening and whenever necessary, while recording all such operations.
Establishments are permitted to welcome customers up to 50 per cent of its maximum capacity. It is necessary to create spacing, interfaces and borders between tables to prevent mixing and crowding, with 2 metres between each table. Only four people are allowed per table. If there is a larger number, the tables that fit the number will be combined and spacing created between seats.
All food and beverages must be served in disposable, single-use Styrofoam containers, utensils and/or cups. It is advisable to serve food in single-sized portions intended mainly for one customer to avoid sharing plates as much as possible.
The circular called on restaurants and cafés to encourage e-payment solutions and credit cards to avoid the use of cash, and provide hand sanitisation essentials across the entire establishment, including on every table, which should be disinfected immediately after customers leave. Self-service tables and open buffets are to be avoided, and F&B outlets are required to abide by the working hours set for operating food establishments.
Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, President of Dubai Ladies Club, and wife of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, announced the resumption of activities at Dubai Ladies Club and opening its newly enhanced, modernised, and uplifted Fitness Centre starting 2 June, 2020.
The decision by the UAE government to allow those over 60 years to shopping malls is a welcome step in the right direction.
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The country has been in turmoil since the army ousted the civilian leader in February, launching a bloody crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 900 people according to a local monitoring group.
The insurgents stepped up a nationwide offensive that saw a key airport in the south come under rocket fire overnight that the aim was to thwart air strikes conducted by Afghan government forces.
The Dubai Court of Appeal commuted a verdict issued by the Court of First Instance against an Asian delivery person convicted of assaulting an 8-year-old girl. The verdict has been commuted from 3 years to one year in prison to be followed by deportation.
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