Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi nightclubs shut down

Department of Culture and Tourism issues banning notice with immediate effect

Nightclubs and tourist restaurants have been shut down for the rest of March in Abu Dhabi due to public health concerns and the spread of Covid-19. Getty
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Nightclubs in Abu Dhabi will close with immediate effect until the end of March to restrict further cases of the new coronavirus.

All events in the capital are also to be restricted, a circular issued by the Department of Culture and Tourism states.

Compliance officers will visit establishments across Abu Dhabi during the closure to ensure strict adherence to the measures in place.

Similar restrictions are not yet in place elsewhere in the UAE, although that could change as preventative measures widen.

“In line with preventative measures for coronavirus (Covid-19) the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is instructing all tourism establishments and event organisers in Abu Dhabi with a ban on all events and the operating of night clubs.

“Compliance is highly anticipated and required, noting that legal measures will be taken against any violators pursuant to applicable legislation.”

It did not initially appear that bars were included in the order, however, the popular venue McGettigan’s said on its Facebook page it was closed with immediate effect “in line with preventative measures for coronavirus and under instruction from the Department of Culture and Tourism.”

The DCT regulates hotel bars and restaurants serving alcohol.

The measure comes hard on the heels of several high-profile event cancellations.

The three-day Ultra dance music festival was pulled last week, and Abu Dhabi Festival postponed its coming performances as a health precaution against Covid-19.

The events, which were set to run from Tuesday, March 31, to Thursday, April 9, and organised by Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, were set to feature about a dozen concerts held at both Emirates Palace and NYU Abu Dhabi.

The latest directive follows a ban on shisha cafes operating in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Restrictions on the sale of water pipes have since been extended to Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Ajman.