The reopening of this critical gateway airport will be welcome news for those airlines pinning hopes on an initial Asian and Australian tourism revival.
Dubai will begin allowing free movement and business activity to restart from Wednesday, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said on Monday.
Starting Wednesday there will be no restrictions on movement or business operations between 6.00 am and 11.00 pm, the Dubai Media office said in a press release.
Some retail and wholesale businesses will be allowed to reopen subject to further sterilization operations and social distancing measures, the media office said on Twitter.
This will include cinemas, indoor gyms and education and treatment centres for children among others.
Business and tourism hub Dubai allowed malls to reopen at limited capacity during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began on April 24. Dubai has also allowed dine-in restaurants and cafes to resume business at 30% capacity and public parks to reopen with restrictions.
Monday’s announcement reverses a measure taken last week by the UAE to extend its nationwide curfew by two hours after reporting an increase in daily cases of the coronavirus.
The UAE reported 822 new cases on Monday taking the cumulative total to 30,307, with 248 deaths.
Monday’s statement added that Dubai’s airport will also begin to receive returning residents and travelers in transit as of Wednesday.
The UAE, which had suspended entry of non-Emirati residents on March 19, said last week it would soon start allowing in those with valid residencies stranded abroad whose families are in the UAE. The state news agency said residents with relatives in the UAE could start returning as of June 1 to reunite with family.
The country halted regular passenger flights and closed most public venues to combat the disease, but like other Gulf Arab states it saw the virus spread among low-income migrant workers living in overcrowded quarters, leading it to increase testing.
(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah and Samar Hassan; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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Photo credit: Dubai is to begin allowing free movement and business activity to restart. Nick Fewings / Unsplash