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Coronavirus Pandemic

Reopening responsibly: Dubai being back in business 'a ray of hope', residents say

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on May 28, 2020 | Last updated on May 28, 2020 at 06.43 am

(Neeraj Murali/KT)

Dubai has taken bold yet well-thought-out steps to bring life back to normal in the emirate amid Covid-19.

Residents were happy to be back at their shops and offices on Wednesday, as more businesses in Dubai resume operations. They vowed to be responsible as they embrace their 'new normal' routines.

An Australian expat in Dubai, Gary McShary, is back in his DIFC office after over two months. The finance professional, whose primary work is related to investments, believes there are certain things that can only be achieved over face-to-face interactions.

"I am very happy that the government in Dubai has been proactive in opening up businesses here. This is the way forward. People can work rapidly and collaborate and decide on things much faster when they are physically present in offices," McShary said.

Dubai has taken bold yet well-thought-out steps to bring life back to normal in the emirate. Economic activities have resumed amid strict Covid-19 precautionary measures, including social distancing, stipulated capacity and mandatory use of face masks.

Among those relieved were technicians and semi-skilled workers, who said offices opening up could mean more momentum even for small-scale businesses.

Nandu Prasad, who works for an AC maintenance company, is back catering to his DIFC clients. He and his colleagues are responsible for all maintenance-related work at a restaurant in the area. After having stayed home for a long time, he is glad to be back in business.

"We are excited to be back to work. Finally, things are opening up and it is like a ray of hope. Things couldn't have continued endlessly like this. I am optimistic that we'll see better days ahead," Prasad said.

Pakistani expat Hazrat Shah's locksmith service shop in Satwa has been facing a downturn for months now. But with more people stepping out of their homes, he is optimistic that business will improve soon.

"We sell locks and keys, repair watches and some small electronic items. Our business during the coronavirus closure has been quite low. But now I am hopeful that things will look up from here," said Shah, who set up his shop two years ago to support his family back home.

Some salons and barbershops have also welcomed more customers on Wednesday. They have been allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, but only for hair and nail services.

But even with limited services on offer, Filipino expat Ann has been waiting for customers since morning at her salon's entrance. The women's parlour she works for has been seeing only up to three customers per week - but then some good news trickled in.

"When we heard that Dubai is opening up starting today, my happiness had no bounds. My colleagues in the parlour were equally overjoyed. I have therefore been standing here at the entrance welcoming customers since morning. I am glad we are back in business now," Ann said.

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