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Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business

Team KT
Filed on May 28, 2020 | Last updated on May 28, 2020 at 06.33 am
UAE, traffic, dubai , reopen,

(KT photo)

KT journalists fanned out across Dubai to capture the excitement and relief of residents.

The UAE is taking bold, yet well-thought-out steps to ease back to normalcy from today, with Dubai reopening businesses, including cinemas, gyms and some education institutes.

As Dubai roared back to business, Khaleej Times reporters and multimedia journalists remained stationed at various hot-spots, capturing the excitement and relief of residents.


3:40pm: Scene from Dubai's Satwa area

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24133527.PNG)Photo by M.Sajjad/KT

People wear masks and maintain safe distance as Dubai eases back to normalcy after more than two months of closures.


3:30pm: Restaurants buzz with customers

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24132527.PNG)Photo: Neeraj Murali/KT

Syrian expat Dana had come to The Dubai Mall with her friend Merit, who was on wheelchair after she had a horse riding accident last month.

Pushing her friend on the wheelchair, Dana said she and her bestie stepped out of their homes after "ages" and were too excited to shop, eat and watch movies together with the relaxation of restrictions on movement in Dubai.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dubai resident Dana said: " I was in self quarantine for a good four months and when this news came about relaxation of movement rules, the first thing I did was to call my friend Merit and we knew we had to meet at our favorite hangout destination-The Dubai Mall! Merit and I would very often come here but had not met for four months now since the whole Covid-19 crises began."

Expressing her happiness at the reunion with her friend, Dana said: " We have been in the mall now for two hours and we thoroughly enjoyed shopping, chit-chatting and just walking around. I haven't eaten out for four months now but since Merit wants to have her favourite dish at the food court, we are headed there for a quick lunch now."


2:11pm: Lunch time! Dine-in or al fresco in Dubai?

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24128527.PNG)Photo: Shihab/KT

It's lunch time; and several hungry working professionals, bachelors, and couples - both young and old - were seen at restaurants in Karama, a food haven in Dubai.

Aramam Restaurant, a popular food joint serving Kerala cuisine, welcomed over a hundred customers during the first hour of its opening.

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24129527.PNG)

Rakesh Raju, restaurant manager at Aramam, Karama, said: "We were closed for two months, and were only catering to home deliveries and takeaways. We opened up today and, to our surprise, we have many customers."

 Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24130527.PNG)

The restaurant has placed benches outside for al fresco dining as indoor seating is prohibited. "A two-meter distance is maintained between all customers. All staff are wearing PPE equipment, and there is constant sterilisation of the facilities," he said.

"We don't use cutlery either, only packed meals are served to customers," added Raju.


2:05pm: Indian couple steps out of home after two months

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24126527.PNG)Photo: Neeraj Murali

Indian expats Senthil Kumar and his wife Jyoti Kumar used the public transport - Dubai metro - for the first time in over two months to visit the mall today.

"We have not stepped out of our room for the last two months to visit any public place or malls. My husband would sometimes go grocery shopping but it's today, after two-and-a-half months, that we came out together to a mall for some essential work," said Jyoti.

Senthil added: "Although we were apprehensive of using the public transport and visiting a public place like a mall, but the reassurance of the Dubai government time and again, and the excellent safety protocols followed at all public places such as implementing social distancing rule, wearing masks at all times, seeing cleaners disinfect mall areas, has boosted our confidence. These stringent measures have allayed our fears and we feel blessed to be in such a country where our safety is given priority."


1:05pm: Resident who lost job pins hope on 'dynamic' Dubai

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24124527.PNG)Photo: Dhanusha Gokulan/KT

Sachin Nagare, a Dubai resident stepped out of his home today in search of a job in the food and beverage sector. He said: "Due to the pandemic, I lost my job two months ago. Today, I found it easy to step out of home in search of a new job and also visit the Consulate General of India." He added: "I hope I find a job in Dubai as it is a dynamic city, and there are good opportunities here."


12:57pm: Traffic in Bur Dubai

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24131527.PNG)Photo: Shihab/KT

Bur Dubai: One of the busiest neighborhoods in Dubai is bustling with people and activity on the first day of Dubai's reopening.


12:57pm: 'I felt safe visiting the mall today with my friends'

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24123527.PNG)

Photo: Neeraj Murali/KT

Dominican Omar Nabi, 18, had come all the way from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to hang out with his friends at the Mall of the Emirates, when he heard the malls in Dubai are reverting to normal opening hours and will stay open until 10pm.

"I met my friends after a good two months today and although we couldn't hug or shake hands, just seeing each other and talking made all the difference. Although we are not yet allowed to try clothes at shops, we did enjoy checking out new collections and buying some stuff before heading on to the food court to enjoy our favorite burgers."

Omar said he felt safe and relieved after seeing the number of guidelines being followed at the mall. Sporting an N-95 mask, Omar said: "Me and my friends took all the precautions today while stepping out and we were happy to see how the mall management had also placed signages, thermal screening machines and social distancing stickers at different locations of the mall."


12:45pm: Social distancing: Barricades make people fall in line

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24121527.PNG)Photo: Shihab/KT

Metal barricades in front of the BurJuman metro station ensure people maintain social distancing norms.

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24122527.PNG)

One of the busiest neighborhoods in Dubai, Bur Dubai is bustling with people and activity on the first day of Dubai's reopening.


12:36pm: "Back to business with precautions," say Kenyan restaurant owners

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24125527.PNG)

Photo: Neeraj Murali/KT

Kenyan resident Happy says her customer these days prefer to take aways over dine ins. Although, her restaurant in the heart of the Satwa market has a reasonably big dine-in facility some people are still preferring to order in.

She says, "Although restrictions have eased and people are out on the streets, as the weather is getting warmer and mornings are becoming hot I think that's also acting as another deterrent. We however, are taking all safety precautions pertaining to Covid-19, and are serving our customers only in disposable cups and plates. Social distancing measures are also in place. There is an adequate distance between the two tables as well. I am glad the government has opened up things, being back in business is getting crucial for our livelihoods. I am positive better days lie ahead of us. "


12:36pm: 'People are back in business'


12:20pm: KT journalist Dhanusha Gokulan reporting from Deira


12:13pm: Dubai beautician excited to welcome more customers

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24119527.PNG)

Filipino expat Ann has been waiting for customers since morning at the entrance of her parlour in Satwa, Dubai. The salon that she works for had been seeing only about three customers per week.

But when it was announced that Dubai would open up, she said her "happiness knew no bounds".  
 "My colleagues in the parlour were equally overjoyed. Without income, how does one survive? I have therefore been standing here at the entrance welcoming customers since morning. I am glad we are back in business now. I am certain we'll have more customers in the coming days. We are adhering to all safety protocols."


12:10pm: Dubai's Satwa residents find their feet


11.55am: Better days ahead, says Indian expat

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24118527.PNG)Photo: Nandhini/KT

Indian expat Rufwaid who owns a clothes shop in Satwa, Dubai is sanguine he will see better days ahead with economic activities opening up in the city. Follow our live blog to see what residents have to say about the emirate's #ReopeningResponsibly.


11.50am: Dubai Metro back on track


Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24116527.PNG)
Photo: Shihab/KT

As the day progressed, Dubai Metro trains got increasingly busier. Several passengers said they were using Dubai's most popular mode of public transport after weeks. Most passengers were on their way to work, some were on their way to see family members, and a few were on their way for medical appointments.


11.49am: Expat received to see malls back to regular timings

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24117527.PNG)Photo: Shihab/KT

Thailand expatriate Joy Suthirat was relieved to see the malls revert to their not normal timings 10am to 10pm.

" I have been at home for over a month and am very happy that we can see normalcy return to life. Today although I didn't have any essential work at the mall but I came to get the feel of the mall as O have missed coming here. I bought some clothes and I am heading to the food court for a quick snack as its been long since I ate from here."


11.38am: Filipino expat says she feels safe

11: 36am: Scene from Mall of the Emirates

11: 35am: 'Long wait at the metro lines is the only challenging part,'

11:20am: Scene from outside Al Reef Mall

11: 20am: Ski Dubai ready to welcome visitors

Mall of the Emirates at 11:00am:

Passengers in Dubai Metro at 10:45am :

Sheikh Zayed Road at 10: 35am:

DAFZA metro station at 10: 35am:

Umm Suqeim Street at 10: 30am:

DAFZA metro station at 10: 33am:

Electronic safety alerts were placed all over the metro stations and constant announcements of precautionary measures to be taken by passengers were being announced on the metro loud speakers. A slow trickle of passengers were seen making their way in and out of the metro stations. A few were going to visit families, and some were on their way to work.

DAFZA metro station at 10: 20am:

Sawta Street at 9: 30am:

 

 

 Al Ittihad Road at 9:28am:

 

Sheikh Zayed Road at 9:15am:

 

Al Ittihad Road at 9am:

 Al Ittihad Road at 9am:

Traffic resumes to normal on UAE's busiest highway, the Al Ittihad Road on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 as Dubai eases into the 'new normal'.

Thought residents and commuters are used to seeing traffic jams on most weekdays, residents nearby said this is the most traffic they've seen on this highway since the implementation of the National Sterilization Programme.

With the end of the long Eid Al Fitr weekend, residents were seen driving towards their offices and taxis made their way to its destinations as well.

 

Ras Al Khor road at 7:30am

According to Google Maps, an accident on Ras Al Khor road has caused tailbacks on E44 towards D69. Motorists are advised to follow traffic rules and take alternative routes where possible.

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24115527.PNG)

 Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road at 7am

Meanwhile, heavy traffic congestion was reported on E311 Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road from Sharjah Industrial area towards Muhaisnah in Dubai.

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24113527.PNG)

Muwailih Commercial area at 7am

Slow moving traffic was also observed at Muwailih Commercial area towards Industrial Area 17.

Reopening responsibly: Relief, joy as Dubai is back in business (KT24114527.PNG)

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Tuesday extended timings of all public transport means in Dubai. This comes as Dubai prepares to ease back to normalcy after the Eid Al Fitr break.

Commuters are advised to plan their trips and reach Metro stations 30 minutes before their trip is to commence. Masks are mandatory. The emirate has revised its sterilisation scheme timings from 11pm to 6am. In line with this, the timings of all public transport means have been revised as well.


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