The city of Dubai is going to witness the resumption of business activities from 27th May, albeit gradually. This step was taken after the announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of the UAE and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai & Chairman of the Executive Council. Although business entities will resume their operation, there will be some rules and SOPs to be followed strictly. It is speculated that the demand for offices for rent in Dubai is going to escalate after this announcement.

This decision came after a meeting that took place virtually and was attended by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management of Dubai along with Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Hamdan chaired this meeting. He believed that the decision to resume business activities came into light after a comprehensive review of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and international guidelines to deal with the pandemic. Reports prepared by the Committee and socio-economic and health aspects of the city were also assessed thoroughly when this decision was finalised.

While the lockdown is lifted gradually and business activities are becoming operational again, it will still be mandatory for everyone to strictly follow SOPs and rules laid by the government. These include wearing masks, using sanitizers, maintaining minimum two metres physical distances, avoiding crowded places, and washing hands with soap for 20 seconds. These guidelines also contain measures to adopt related to social customs and family visits. The purpose to follow these SOPs and resumption of business activities is to adjust with the global pandemic while ensuring activities in the major sectors of the city aren’t disrupted.

This announcement made by the government is certainly going to have a positive impact on the economic conditions of the city. Real estate experts believe that more people will now search for shops for rent in busy markets of the city as they are allowed to continue their business operations after a hiatus forced by the global pandemic.

Stressing on the importance of this statement by “Everyone is responsible” by Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Hamdan encouraged the community to work together as every individual is responsible not only for his but other’s health and well-being. Therefore, preventive steps should be strictly followed. He also believes that normal life can only be restored if everyone adheres to guidelines. For this, he is of the view that authorities need to play their part and should raise community awareness regarding these measures and guidelines.

Dubai has taken proactive measures to deal with the COVID-19 situation. It has partnered with private sector firms and a fully-functional field hospital has been set up in Dubai World trade centre. This hospital is geared with the latest medical equipment and has the capacity for 3,000 patients. Another field hospital has been created at Dubai Parks and Resort with the support of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. With its capacity to accommodate up to 1,200 beds, this medical facility spans over an area of 29,000 square metres. Abu Dhabi Health Services Company established this hospital.

During the meeting that took place virtually, His Highness reviewed and assessed preparations for the reopening of businesses in different sectors. He also evaluated preventive and precautionary measures that people will have to adopt. Other than that, he was briefed on how major authorities in Dubai are prepared for the implementation of the next phase. These authorities include Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Police, COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, State Security Department, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Ambulance, Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Dubai Civil Defence, Roads and Transport Authority, Government of Dubai Media Office and the Department of Economic Development in Dubai along with some other government entities.

Sheikh Hamdan ensured that the first priority of the leadership remains the security and safety of citizens. He appreciated the Ministry of Health and Prevention and NCEMA (National Emergency Crisis & Disaster Management) for their efforts to control the situation. Furthermore, the Crown Prince also acknowledged the efforts made by the Supreme Committee of Crises & Disaster Management along with other federal and local bodies to deal with COVID-19 situation effectively. At the same time, he advised the major organisations working in the city to carry out intense monitoring to make sure all the organisations and public follow the precautionary guidelines and SOPs.

Dubai Government has taken extensive efforts, with the support of numerous organisations, to safeguard citizens’ safety and well-being. Various areas have been intensely and thoroughly sterilised as part of these efforts. Furthermore, the government has also escalated the number of tests particularly in areas that are densely populated. This has helped to early deduction and subsequent isolation of patients to minimise the chances of virus spread. To facilitate medical staff for conducting tests, the authorities have geared the health care centres with the latest equipment.

The government has also taken initiatives to support small and medium business entities who faced a major financial setback due to the COVID-19. It launched a stimulus package worth Dhs1.5 billion in March for the said purpose. However, to ensure citizens are complying with prevention and precautionary measures, fines have been imposed on organisations and individuals violating SOPs and guidelines.

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