Children's parties now permitted as Dubai eases Covid-19 restrictions

Restaurants, playgrounds, cinemas, cafes and malls can increase their capacity to 80%

Children's birthday parties are now allowed in Dubai, after the emirate further eased its Covid-19 restrictions.

Restaurants, cafes, shisha cafes, malls, cinemas and children's play areas can operate at 80 per cent capacity, and the distance between tables can be reduced from two metres to 1.5 metres.

The changes came into force on August 12, as stipulated by a circular issued to venues in the emirate by Dubai Municipality.

The UAE reported 1,206 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, as daily infections reached a 2021 low for the second day in a row. Infections have remained below 1,300 for four consecutive days.

This is another step in the right direction, and brings much needed relief and support from the authorities
Naim Maadad, Gates Hospitality

Naim Maadad, chief executive of Gates Hospitality, which owns several restaurants in Dubai, said the changes were good news for restaurateurs before Expo 2020 Dubai begins in October.

"This is another step in the right direction, and brings much needed relief and support from the authorities," he said.

The Dubai Municipality circular came after the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said last week that hotels in the Emirates could operate at 100 per cent capacity again.

Dubai's crisis authority had already allowed this measure in May, when it also permitted malls to operate at 80 per cent capacity, and entertainment venues at 70 per cent.

Bars and clubs allowed to open until 3am

A handout photo of Folly by Nick and Scott in Dubai (Courtesy: Folly by Nick and Scott) *** Local Caption ***  folly-nick-scott01.jpg

Dubai Municipality said shopping malls, cinemas, recreational facilities and play areas could increase their capacity to 80 per cent, as long as visitors observed physical distancing rules and remained at least two metres apart.

The distance between tables in restaurants, cafes and shisha cafes can be reduced from two metres to 1.5 metres, and venues can also return to the same working hours as before the pandemic. Events in those establishments can continue until 3am.

Children's birthday parties can now be hosted in recreational venues and play areas, as long as visitors remain at least two metres apart and wear face masks.

The rules also stipulate regular sanitisation, and owners must calculate the capacity of their venues, according to a spacing rule of four square metres for every person.

Those hosting a birthday party must also sign a commitment letter saying they will abide by all precautionary measures during the party and take full responsibility for it.

Also, people with medical conditions are not allowed to enter the party, and the elderly and those with chronic diseases should be encouraged to stay at home for their own safety.

In standard cinemas, horizontal and vertical physical distancing must still be applied, by allocating two seats for customers and leaving one seat empty. Aisles can be considered as two empty seats.

In VIP and platinum hall cinemas, this is not necessary.

Dubai Municipality reminded owners that its teams would continue to carry out regular intensive inspection campaigns to ensure compliance with the rules.

Non-compliant establishments will be penalised according to the rules and regulations, the municipality said.

Updated: August 15th 2021, 10:53 AM