Coronavirus: Dubai restaurants allowed to sell alcohol with restrictions

Patrons cannot stand at bars and premises can only sell drinks with food

Dubai skyline seen from Deyaar properties on Business Bay.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Dubai’s licensed restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol after Ramadan, police said.

A notice sent from Dubai Police’s licensing section confirmed sales could begin on Saturday or Sunday, depending on when Eid was called.

Drinks must be served directly to tables and patrons cannot stand at bars, even if they are part of the restaurant.

Alcohol can be served only when food is ordered and all drinks must be served in disposable plastic cups.

Like other countries, the UAE shut cafes, bars and restaurants in March as the scale of the coronavirus outbreak became clear.

In the past two weeks, authorities have begun gradually opening malls, shops and restaurants.

Dubai opened hotel beaches last week, although public beaches remain closed.

In some of the Northern Emirates, hotels and bars began trading two weeks ago to capitalise on staycations for residents, and allowed pools and beaches to open.

To ensure social distancing measures are met, restaurants are allowed to admit no more than 30 per cent of their capacity and provide single-use cutlery and plates.

Swimming pools in Dubai also remain closed to the public, which led many residents to flock to the Northern Emirates, where the rules are slightly more relaxed.