Dubai: 80 per cent , capacity a big boost 
for eateries

KT file photo
KT file photo

Dubai - Eateries allowed to operate according to pre-Covid business hours.


James Jose

Published: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 11:01 PM

For restaurants and cafes in Dubai, operating at 80 per cent of their capacity will be a ‘massive boost’, especially with big events coming up in the UAE over the coming months — from the Expo to the Indian Premier League and the T20 World Cup.

In its latest circular, the emirate’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has increased restaurants’ and cafes’ capacity and stated that hotel establishments can now operate at full capacity.

Eateries can operate according to pre-Covid business hours, while complying with permits and guidelines issued by the department. They are also allowed to extend entertainment activities until 3 am, the DTCM said.

Eti Bhasin, owner of Dhaba Lane, which has two outlets in Al Karama and Al Garhoud, hailed the move, saying: “It’s the best news that the entire F&B sector has been waiting for almost a year where the capacity has gradually increased from 50 percent to 80 percent now. More space means a greater amount of business generation.”

Bhasin added that the return to regular business hours meant they could cater to late-night guests, which will help increase revenues.

Ninad Mate, operations manager at one of the popular hotel franchises, said this would help the F&B industry return to normal.

“It is very good news that hotels can operate at full capacity. It is getting better and we are hoping that everything will be back to normal soon,” said Mate.

“It is going in the right direction, with the cases decreasing and with more and more people getting vaccinated.”

Mate said people are now getting the confidence to venture out, especially after the robust vaccination drive conducted by the UAE.

“Previously, a lot of people were scared to step out, but now people have started going out. We had a decent crowd at our sports bar over the weekend, from when it was announced, and we returned to our 3am closing time from 2am.”

Amole Dhote, founder and owner of O’Pao, said this was a massive boost for the industry.

“This will definitely help restaurants and cafes as dine-in sales are more profitable than delivery orders,” Dhote said.

“This in turn increases seating capacity thus having more dine-in covers. Delivery has never been a profitable model as there are so many variable costs attached, like aggregator commissions, packaging, delivery charges, etc. Hence, the ease in restrictions is going to boost the F&B industry confidence as well as revenues,” he added.

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