Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: New rules in Abu Dhabi help prevent gatherings during Eid break

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 25, 2021
KT file photo

The new rules had been issued by the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee started on July 19.

New Covid-19 measures which came into effect on the first day of Eid Al Adha in Abu Dhabi had encouraged many residents to avoid gatherings, opting instead for more intimate family celebrations.

The new rules issued by the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee started on July 19; resulted in restricted movements, updated entry rules into the emirate, and reduced capacity at malls, cinemas, and other public spaces.

For Sri Lankan expat Robert Kim, this Eid holiday didn’t include members of his extended family, or friends, as was the case in the past, but was an intimate family affair.

“This Eid break was different as we had to avoid gatherings,” said Kim.

“On the day of Eid Al Adha, I went to the Corniche beach, with my wife and kids, to swim during the afternoon. In the evening, we hung out at the Corniche park until 10:00pm,” this was to ensure that they reached home before the sterilisation programme being carried out across the city began at midnight.

Jumah Ali, an Egyptian resident, said that he and his friends had to cancel a day trip that they had planned to Khorfakkan beach in the northern emirates as they were worried that they wouldn't be unable to make it back to the capital on time.

“We feared that we might return late to Abu Dhabi and have problems due to the movement restrictions in place after midnight,” he said.

He decided to spend time with his children at the Yas Waterworld for some fun water games.

Mohammed Kezaala from Uganda said a community football event that was planned to take place over the long weekend holiday had to be called off due to the restrictions.

“The event had to be restricted to just the players in order to limit the numbers due to Covid rules,” he explained.

Under the new measures, capacity at shopping malls has been reduced to 40 per cent, which also saw their closing time moved to 10:00pm, instead of 12:00am. Public buses in the city have also been suspended.

Bhupinder Singh, general manager and CFO of Dalma Mall told Khaleej Times, that the Mall is strictly adhering to the new guidelines.

“We also want our shoppers to reach home in time to avoid being fined by the authorities,” he said.

Abu Dhabi Police have reminded motorists driving to Abu Dhabi from other emirates to factor in the ongoing movement restrictions in place past midnight, before planning their journeys.

The new restrictions also went into effect at the Abu Dhabi border, with entry allowed only to those presenting a negative PCR test result with 48 hours validity, and 24 hours of receiving a negative DPI. The measures apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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