Coronavirus: Dubai finds no shops violating regulations for the first time

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Almost 500 shops in Dubai were found to be complying with regulations aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, according to Dubai’s Department for Economic Development (DED) on Saturday.

Dubai allowed shops and malls that were closed under the emirate’s lockdown to reopen at the beginning of Ramadan, but implemented strict new regulations including requiring staff and customers to wear face masks and banning promotional offers. The DED has since been carrying out daily inspections, issuing fines and closing stores that violate the regulations.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

All 474 businesses inspected on Friday were found to be fully complying with the guidelines, according to the DED’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector. Only 14 outlets were given warnings for not displaying social distancing stickers that warn customers to maintain a safe distance between each other.

“High levels of awareness & compliance with market opening guidelines with ZERO fines & ZERO shutdown, is the summary of inspections conducted in shopping malls and open markets on the 1st of May, 2020. In which 474 businesses are fully compliant,” said DED in a Tweet.

The stores were on highstreets and in malls in the densely populated areas collectively known as “Old Dubai,” which are reported to be some of the worst-hit areas by the virus: Deira, Naif, Satwa, Al Rafaa, Al Dhaghaya, Abu Hail, Rashidiya, Qusais, Karama, Muhaisina, Gold Souq, and Frij Murar.

The inspectors reportedly instructed traders to continue practicing social distancing, wearing face masks and clothes, and not open between the ongoing nighttime curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

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First investigation not to close shops for violations

The all-clear stands in contrast to the other daily inspections last week, as a result of which inspectors ordered almost a hundred shops to close and warned hundreds more for violating the new measures.

On Sunday, April 26, authorities shut down 21 shops and warned 65 others for uncompliance. The shops were located in the same areas of “Old Dubai.” On Monday the number rose to 26 shut and 234 warned, with a further 13 closed and 211 more warned on Tuesday.

The trend continued the following day, with nine stores closed, 18 fined and 176 warned, and Thursday with 19 shops closed and 165 more warned.

The results of investigations for Saturday and Sunday remain to be seen, but Friday is the first time DED has reported all shops in an investigation have been in compliance.

Regulations for Ramadan in Dubai during coronavirus.
Regulations for Ramadan in Dubai during coronavirus.
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