World’s Biggest Shopping Mall in Dubai has Reopened with Strict COVID Safety Measures
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Clutching bags in their gloved hands from designer boutiques, shoppers are back at Dubai Mall, one of the world’s biggest shopping mall that has reopened under strict coronavirus safeguards. Employees greet them with black T-shirts reading “Welcome back” at the main entrance where customers turn over their sports cars and luxury SUVs for valet parking.
Smiling as they point a “temperature gun” infrared thermometer at the visitors’ foreheads, they check for fever which is a telltale symptom of COVID-19 infection. Dubai Mall is a key city-state attraction that has built on mega-projects and a diversified economy for becoming a tourism and shopping hub, as well as for finance and real estate, its wealth and world renown.
With more than 1,300 shops around a large lake overlooking the Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest tower, Dubai Mall draws about 80 million tourists a year and it’s restarting on Tuesday was a symbolic move as the country emerges from the lockdown. After a month of closure, crowds have been much smaller, as expatriates in jeans and Emiratis wander the vibrant alleys in traditional white Gulf robes that showcase everything from chic to bling.
Among them is the Jamal, a 21-year-old student at Emirati. He would come with his friends every weekend before the coronavirus crisis. Holding two red bags in his hands from a famous French jewellery company, he was happy to be back. Also, encouraged by the security measures in place.
Dubai Mall Prohibits Children and Older People from Entering
More than 11,000 cases of coronavirus and nearly 100 deaths have been reported by the United Arab Emirates. Out of which Dubai is a member, and the easing of limitations has begun. It is even though the regular number of new infections is on the rise. Only grocery stores and pharmacies in the mall continued to work for weeks. But now the UAE has allowed malls, restaurants and even hair salons to reopen under social distancing rules. Thermal cameras that are mounted to the ceiling across Dubai Mall record passer-by temperatures.
However, the mall is not allowing children between three and 12 years of age to enter. Also, people over 60 or in higher-risk categories for the respiratory disease cannot enter the mall. Protective masks are mandatory — with staff sporting them both in ready-to-wear stores. Also, high-end boutiques of European designers. The cinema at the mall, skating rink and large fountains attract thousands of tourists. They are packed in for evening shows in normal times remain closed.
The mall runs at 30 per cent of social distance capability. Each shop shows the maximum number of people permitted in at a time. It is from five to several hundred depending on the location.
She said they hoped to expand to the usual flow of 250,000 visitors a day. Tourism is a lifeline for Dubai’s economy. It has welcomed more than 16 million international tourists in 2019. Also, targeting 20 million this year before the coronavirus outbreak disrupted global travel. In an interview with Bloomberg TV this week, Dubai’s tourism manager, Hilal al-Marri spoke. He said the emirate could reopen to international tourism “in July,” after stopping arrivals in March.