'Fame of chef made it hard to control crowds': CZN Burak Dubai reopens on Sunday after temporary closure for breaching Covid-19 rules

Management said the restaurant has been overwhelmed by the numbers of diners visiting

Management at CZN Burak said the fame of chef Burak Ozdemir made it difficult to control crowds of fans and enforce Covid-19 measures. AFP 
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A popular restaurant in Dubai owned by a celebrity chef was shut down on Friday for breaking Covid-19 safety regulations.

CZN Burak Dubai was closed after a spot check by the Department of Economic Development, in partnership with Dubai Tourism and Dubai Municipality.

The Turkish restaurant said it is due to reopen on Sunday, following changes to its coronavirus safety measures.

Its owner and chef Burak Ozdemir posts cooking videos on social media and has more than 20 million followers on Instagram.

The restaurant in Downtown Dubai told The National that large numbers of diners have visited the restaurant in recent months, due to its online popularity.

"Unfortunately, with the warm welcome and popularity of CZN Burak, the restaurant has been overwhelmed with the numbers of guests visiting," it said.

"With Chef Burak being a famous and loved celebrity, it has been a bit challenging for the restaurant to control the crowds who came to greet and meet him in person."

The restaurant said it has reduced the number of seats inside and outside the venue and has been conducting weekly PCR testing of staff.

"[We] take this as an opportunity to implement better and stricter safety measurements to ensure the compliance with the local government regulations," it said.

"The restaurant will reopen on Sunday and the staff will make sure that all diners remain seated during their entire dining experience."

The department's actions are part of a campaign in Dubai against rule-breaking businesses.

The Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Economy closed two sports establishments and issued fines to seven other facilities for failing to enforce Covid-19 measures and safety guidelines.

Another six venues were issued warnings.

For months, the authorities have been sending out teams of inspectors throughout the emirate to ensure businesses are following social distancing and other Covid-19 measures.

Last weekend, an operator was fined Dh50,000 ($13,612) for holding a desert party with several hundred guests.

In a video posted on the Dubai Police Twitter page, it showed a blatant breach of the Covid-19 rules.