Coronavirus: UAE mall and restaurant visit rules for children and elderly clarified

Those above 60 and below 12 are not allowed into malls but some restaurants accept guests of all ages

Some restaurants in Dubai have begun welcoming customers outside the age group of 12 to 60 into their premises but a ban on their entry into shopping malls remains in place.

Businesses are gradually reopening across the UAE and the easing of restrictions is paving the way for a return to normal life.

But age-specific restrictions have meant many families are still unable to take their children or elderly parents to restaurants situated inside malls.

The reopening of a few restaurants that allow all-age customers for dine-in services has come as a relief for people facing such a dilemma.

Thai restaurant Little Bangkok with seven branches in the city is among those that are open to accepting guests aged below 12 and above 60.

Maria Bonita, a family-friendly outlet for those craving Mexican cuisine in Umm Suqeim, too is open to the young and the elderly, said a spokesman of the restaurant.

Similarly, Reform Social and Grill, a British restaurant, and Wokyo Noodle Bar in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Al Safa are now open to all-age guests.

Even as more than a dozen restaurants that The National spoke with are accepting children and the elderly, many continue to refuse them entry.

Popular restaurant Shakespeare and Co said they were ready to open to all age groups but are awaiting permission from the authorities, just like other retailers and restaurants.

Last month, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority reiterated regulations for malls and restaurants with regard to children and the elderly.

epa08319760 A view of the empty Dubai Mall after shutdown, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 March 2020. The UAE Ministry of Health and Community Protection and the National Emergency and Crisis Authority decided to close all commercial centers, shopping centers and open markets that include the sale of fish, vegetables and meat, and exclude in the fish, vegetable and meat markets dealing with supply and wholesale companies. The protective measures were taken due to the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease.  EPA/MAHMOUD KHALED

They are prohibited from entering shopping malls, co-operative societies, supermarkets and retail stores located outside shopping centres, the two organisations said.

The decision was made as part of the precautionary measures and restrictions governing the reopening of shopping malls and commercial centres in the UAE.

The ruling covers all emirates.

Dubai had previously barred children aged 3 to 12 and adults over 60 from shopping malls specifically.

Abu Dhabi shopping centres had denied entry to those aged over 60 but not children.

Shopping malls continue to adhere to the guidelines and ban vulnerable people from their premises.

"As per authorities, children who are 12 or below and people who are 60 and above are not allowed to enter the mall," a spokesman for Emaar Malls told The National.

Al Futtaim malls in Dubai are also not letting in children and the elderly.

In Abu Dhabi, similar restrictions are in place for visiting malls and restaurants.

“We will not allow anyone who is under 12 or over 60,” said a customer service representative at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi.

Restaurants are also not ready to welcome guests outside the 12-60 age group.

“Unfortunately, we cannot accept young children right now,” said the booking adviser at Jones the Grocer at Al Raha, Abu Dhabi.