Dubai orders most private sector to work from home

Commercial establishments in the emirate ordered closed for two weeks 

Emirati men walk along the empty beachside boulevard of Jumeirah Beach Residence in this file picture. — Courtesy photo
Emirati men walk along the empty beachside boulevard of Jumeirah Beach Residence in this file picture. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

DUBAI — All private sector companies in Dubai have been ordered to ensure that 80 percent of their employees work from home for two weeks, beginning on Wednesday (March 25) until April 9.

Dubai Economy, a body overseeing Dubai’s business in the emirate, made this announcement as part of the emirate’s as well as the country’s efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement on its twitter account, Dubai Economy said: “All private sector companies and commercial establishments, excluding pharmacies, cooperative societies, grocery stores and supermarkets, (are) to adhere to implementing remote working system for 80 percent of their employees from today to Thursday April 9 2020”.

Earlier in the day, Dubai Economy directed commercial establishments in the emirate to close down for two weeks starting Wednesday (March 25), state news agency WAM reported.

All shops — except for grocery stores, supermarkets, cooperative societies, and pharmacies that provide for the basic needs of residents — have to remain closed from Wednesday (March 25) until April 8, 2020, the WAM report said quoting a press statement issued by Dubai Economy.

Businesses closing down can continue online sales and e-Commerce activities during the closure period, the press statement added.

The closure directive applies to commercial outlets in main markets as well as streets shops and shopping malls in Dubai.

Fish, meat, and vegetable markets (except wholesalers supplying to supermarkets); shisha cafes; gyms and fitness centers; theme parks; amusement centers and electronic games (e-Games) outlets, cinemas, men’s and women’s salons, massage parlors and spas, and spring camps should all remain closed during the two-week period, the statement added.

Businesses exempted from the closure order, include bakeries, car workshops and other workshops, laundries, and technical and electrical services providers.

Restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops, and food services establishments should also close but restaurants and cafes operating within hotels and can their guests as well as food delivery and transport services can remain open.

Customers can order for takeaways and delivery from restaurants. Restaurants within shopping malls can offer takeaway and delivery services subject to approval of the mall management.

Banks will continue to operate normally unless any other directive is issued by the UAE Central Bank. Exchange houses and clinics can also continue to operate as usual with due regard to the guidelines on sanitization and social distancing.

Dubai Economy will conduct inspection campaigns to ensure that commercial establishments adhere to all the guidelines in the closure circular.