Combating Covid-19: KT explainer on what's happening at Dubai's Al Ras
Khaleej Times has found that residents of the ancient district have no shortage of food, medicine, and other supplies.
Al Ras, or 'The Cape', is one of the oldest communities in Deira district, and is home to several of Dubai's most acclaimed landmarks including the Dubai Central Public Library, St George Hotel, Dubai Spice Souk, Dubai Gold Souk and the Al Ras Hotel.
One of the Emirate's most densely populated areas, Al Ras is more than just a bustling business hub. It is also old Dubai's best-known tourist attraction.
Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has announced increased restrictions on movement in the Al Ras area of Dubai for two weeks from Tuesday, March 31 to facilitate enhanced sterilisation procedures. People who are not residents of Al Ras are prohibited from travelling to the area.
However, despite the lockdown in the district, Khaleej Times has found that residents of the ancient district have no shortage of food, medicine, and other supplies.
Dubai Health Authority teams will provide all essential supplies to the residents of the area during the two-week period, Dubai Police announced. Restaurants and supermarkets are open; however, they are limited to home deliveries. All other businesses will remain closed for a period of two weeks.
This is how the intense sterilisation campaign will impact residents, businesses in Al Ras
Part of Dubai's old Deira district, Al Ras owes its traditional vibe to long-standing markets like the Gold Souk, selling ornate jewellery, and the aromatic spice souk.
The narrow streets hold restored Emirati-style guest houses and museums, including the Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili. Small wooden boats ferry passengers across Dubai Creek to Bur Dubai's Al Fahidi heritage area.
Dubai Gold Souk or Gold Souk, is a traditional market in Dubai, UAE. The souk consists of over 380 retailers, most of whom are jewellery traders. Retailers, predominantly Indian, have told Khaleej Times that they closed down all stores in the area at least a week ago.
Deira's Al Ras spice souk is home to a range of wholesale stores that sell spices, herbs, incense and traditional medicines. Over 150 spice retailers sell their wares at the souk. For safety reasons, all stores in the district have been closed. A call to a few shops in the souk revealed the stores closed a week ago.
Al Ras Business District
Wholesale traders selling clothes, watches, shoes, bags, soaps, and food items have all been closed for operations, according to retailers in the district. Wholesale garment shops, carpets, perfumes, and dried-fruit trade has come to a stand-still in the interest of public health.
St George Hotel
St George Hotel is a luxury business hotel, located in the heart of the old district. Calls to the hotel went unanswered and according to Booking.com, reservations at the hotel are sold out at least until April 14. Other hotels in the district are also not accepting new bookings.
Public transport to and from Al Ras
Further to the announcement of restrictions, Dubai's Roads and Transports Authority (RTA) announced a comprehensive plan to manage traffic and public transport modes in the Al Ras area.
The plan includes the closure of entrances leading to the area from three main roads and interchanges: Al Musalla, Al Khaleej, and Baniyas Streets.
Metro lines closed
The plan also includes the closure of three stations on the metro green line: Al Ras, Palm Deira and Baniyas Square. The metro will pass through the area without stopping at these stations.
Road transport closed
Additionally, as per the plan, all bus routes to Baniyas area will be diverted to Al Musalla, Al Khaleej and Omar Bin Al Khattab streets, and all taxi movement to the area will be restricted.