Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to reopen from Sunday

Authorities said the attraction would be permitted to welcome back visitors, with Covid-19 safety measures in place

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is to welcome back visitors for the first time in nearly seven months on Sunday.

It will reopen in line with Covid-19 safety measures following a decision announced on Saturday by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, in tandem with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

The hugely popular attraction was one of many places of worship to close in March as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

More than 6.6 million people visited the striking mosque last year.

Eight of 10 visitors (4.1 million) were identified as tourists drawn to the capital from all parts of the world.

The largest number of tourists were from India (879,049), followed by China (704,680), with travellers from Russia (234,849), Germany (193,234) and France (155,223) completing the top five.

Authorities said Fujairah’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Founder’s Memorial, in the UAE capital, would also reopen on Sunday.

Strict safety measures will be in place when the three sites open once more, including the compulsory wearing of face masks and observance of social distancing.

Visitor numbers will be capped and visiting times limited to avoid overcrowding, state news agency Wam reported.

“Precautionary measures also include the installation of thermal cameras to take body temperatures at all entrances; establishing an isolation room for those identified with high body temperatures, pending the arrival of healthcare teams; ensuring social distancing; and avoiding crowds from gathering,” the Wam statement said.

Public cultural tours will continue to be suspended, while the lending of electronic devices, clothing and other devices has been discontinued.

Social media platforms, including Instagram, will be used along with LED screens to display videos explaining the regulations.

Management teams of all cultural landmarks will carry out regular disinfection of sites and entry points.

Online booking is necessary and can be carried out on each attraction’s website.

The website of each attraction now offers online booking.

Remote cultural tours in Arabic and English will be live-streamed on Instagram.