In line with my efforts to resynch my ludicrously out-of-step body clock , Dubai is about to allow businesses to re-open between 6am and 11pm daily – big news for the F&B sector in the emirate.
This follows rapidly on from restaurants being able to open – under strict social-distancing guidelines (30% capacity and a maximum of 4 people per table etc) – which were able to operate until 7pm before this announcement just a few days earlier.
The statement came after Sheikh Hamdan chaired a virtual meeting of the Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management where they weighed up a “comprehensive analysis of health and socio-economic factors of the situation”.
You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief amongst the expat community as the news broke. Places are gleefully re-opening every day this week it appears.
So far, our two monstrous Lock, Stock & Barrels have reopened but alcohol can only be served with orders for food (so 17 pints, 5 tequilas and a portion of French fries please), and STK JBR looks set to open in the next day or so. Regardless, it’s been great to see the doors open again.
People – myself included – are certainly more timid and reluctant to venture out these days since our Life on Lockdown. Is it safe? Is it essential? It’s also far from cheap to eat and drink out especially with many people still on reduced wages or no salary at all.
That said, fortune favours the brave and we all need some good fortune after the shell shock of Covid-19 brought our world to a standstill. We must be brave in this new virus-filled world.
Alongside the impact on the F&B sector, gyms, cinemas and indoor sports arenas are set to reopen – clearly another awesome sign for those who are keen to get out of the house. The nation’s borders are also opening for both incoming and outgoing flights, those visiting/returning to Dubai (or the UAE ) will have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival of course.
All of this is amazing news after months of relentlessly frightening headlines on every platform.
It comes at a time when it’s almost too hot to spend much time outside here – this week it will creep up to 38C (100.4F) – and thankfully Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR is one of the largest indoor venues of its kind in the city.
We are indeed still a long way off from our previous raucous nights with 1,500 + revellers shoulder-to-shoulder rocking out to one of our epic live bands, but still this is a promising start.
Let’s hope this continues, and despite there being no obvious continued drop in the daily number of cases here, we just have to hope this bastard Covid-19 doesn’t come too close to us.
Wash those hands now!