COVID-19 update: UAE shuts down entertainment, theme parks, events
Qasr Al Watan Tour, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros World, Yas Waterworld, and Ferrari World temporarily closed
The UAE’s government entities – including the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP), Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the Ajman Department of Economic Development (DED), and the Ajman Tourism Development Department, among others – have temporarily suspended operations at entertainment destinations as part of precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
Entertainment destinations and event organisers, including halls, movie theatres, videogame centres, and lounges, will be subject to inspection campaigns to ensure compliance, according to circulars issued by the government bodies.
Dubai’s star attractions including Dubai Parks and Resorts and IMG World of Adventure will also remain closed until March 31, 2019.
In a statement to the media, the chief executive officer of IMG World of Adventure, Lennard Otto, said: “The Dubai Department of Economic Development has directed us to temporarily suspend our activities in response to this pandemic issue. This decision has taken into the well-being of our guests and team members after a careful consideration of this present situation. This is not an easy decision but this is best way to cope with the rapidly evolving situation as a precautionary measure.”
In line with ongoing efforts to safeguard public health, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing directs that all events in #Dubai should be suspended from Sunday 15 March 2020 till the end of the month. pic.twitter.com/iXyeR6owtV— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) March 14, 2020
Emphasising the importance of ensuring the protection of the society and its safety, ADDED undersecretary Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi said: “Those who will not abide by the decision will be punishable under Article 72 of ADDED's Table of Fines which specifies a pecuniary penalty in the range of $817 (AED3,000) to $2,722.5 (AED10,000), and ultimately closing the facility in case of a repeat infraction.”
The decision to temporarily close destinations is aimed to help people steer clear of crowded places, state-run news agency, Wam, confirmed.
Al Ain Zoo has also started precautionary actions, including remote work to a number of its departments in addition to safety, hygiene, sterilisation campaigns, workshops, and awareness sessions. Major parks across the emirate of Sharjah will also remain closed to prevent the spread of the contagious disease.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) has also called for all elderly people and senior members of the public to remain at home, and steer away from crowded places, as a precautionary measure to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, MoHaP has urged citizens, residents, and families to take all precautionary hygiene measures to ensure their safety and protection. This includes washing hands with soap and clean water, and covering mouth and nose when sneezing, to minimise the spread of germs and infections.
“The Ministry, under the directives of UAE leadership, is stepping up all efforts to ensure public safety. This is facilitated by a strong healthcare system dedicated to ensure public safety and protection in line with the World Health Organisation,” the Ministry said in a statement.