Dubai issues hundreds of fines at malls in campaign against Covid-19 offenders

Dubai Police handed out 221 fines and almost 3,300 warnings at four malls at the weekend

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Dubai is carrying out a major campaign against anyone breaching Covid-19 protocols, issuing hundreds of fines and thousands of warnings at shopping malls at the weekend.

Dubai Police said penalties set out by the Attorney General would be applied to all offenders.

It came after the country recorded its highest daily confirmed case count since the outbreak, with 1,007 new infections on Saturday. They were discovered after conducting 95,287 tests across the country.

The authorities warned they would increase inspections to catch people who flout the rules after the UAE recorded a five-fold rise in infections in four weeks.

On August 3, the country recorded its lowest number of new cases since April with 164 infections. But by September 10, the number rose to more than 900.

Dubai Police said it issued almost 3,300 warnings and 221 fines at four malls on Friday and Saturday, for breaches that included 31 gatherings, which are banned.

In Dubai Mall, 127 people were fined for not wearing a mask. A further 1,290 warnings were issued and 11 groups were found to be breaking rules on gatherings.

A further 1,091 warnings were issued in Mall of the Emirates, where 17 people were fined for not wearing masks and seven groups gathered unlawfully.

In Mirdif City Centre mall, officers handed out 28 fines to people who were not wearing masks, and issued 208 warnings. Eight illegal gatherings were also reported.

In Dubai Festival City, five groups were found to have gathered unlawfully, while officers doled out 49 fines to people who failed to wear masks. They issued an additional 694 warnings.

Dubai Municipality also warned it would take action against hotels which fail to comply.

“Dubai Municipality continues to carry out intensive inspection campaigns on hotel establishments to ensure compliance with Covid-19 precautionary measures,” the organisation said.

“Non-compliant establishments will face a penalty and/or closure, as per the enforced regulations.”

At the weekend, the Dubai Department of Economic Development said it shut down a cafe in Karama after it ignored physical distancing guidelines.

Another seven businesses were also fined for breaching Covid-19 regulations. The department found 274 shops and businesses to be fully compliant.

Last week, the authorities in Dubai closed a Day-to-Day outlet for holding a flash sale that drew large crowds. Footage showed shoppers spilling out on to the street, breaching social distancing guidelines at the discount chain. It was fined Dh50,000.