Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development Introduces Instructions Ahead of Reopening Commercial Centers
- Malls in the emirate are set to begin welcoming customers starting tomorrow (May 28, 2020).
- Operating hours have been set to start at 10:00 am, while closing time will be decided by the National Emergency, Crisis, and Disasters Management Authority.
- Malls can only welcome visitors to 30% of their capacity, and patrons over the age of 60 or under 12 are prohibited from entering.
- Restaurants are only allowed to operate at 30% capacity and groups exceeding four people are not permitted to share a single table.
The Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development (RAKDED) has issued Circular No. 15/2020 outlining a set of restrictions and procedures as malls around the emirate begin to reopen as of tomorrow (Thursday, May 28, 2020).
The circular is part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to prepare for the relaunching of the economy in the emirate, following the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). RAKDED communicated with commercial centers around the emirate to make sure they are ready to open their doors to all segments of the community.
The circular specifies operating hours for malls, where they are set to open at 10:00 am while closing time will be decided by the National Emergency, Crisis, and Disasters Management Authority. Furthermore, several activities and services have been restricted, including cinemas, gyms, and entertainment centers.
The document called for closing public sitting areas and prayer rooms, limiting malls’ visitor capacities to 30%, and prohibiting visitors over 60 years of age or under 12 from entering the premises. Restaurants have been instructed to operate at 30% capacity at most, while groups exceeding four individuals will not be allowed to share a single table, and tables will be placed at least 2.5 meters apart.
To ensure the health and safety of shoppers, the Department underlined the importance of running health checks on all cleaning and security staff contracted to work at malls. All visitors are expected to wear protective masks and gloves and encouraged to bring their own bags. Car parks must only be operated at 50% capacity and no more than three people should be allowed in a single vehicle.
RAKDED noted that valet parking and car wash services will be suspended. Disinfection devices and temperature checkpoints will be installed at entrances and those with a fever exceeding 38 degrees Celsius will be asked to leave. Periodic disinfection campaigns will be implemented all around the centers, especially the surfaces that shoppers are most in contact with, such as handrails on escalators.
Shoppers will be encouraged to use e-payment systems and leave elevators for people with special needs (at a capacity of two people at a time). Additionally, marks will be placed on escalators and floors to ensure social distancing is being observed, all public touchscreens will be disabled, and a team of paramedics will be available at all times.
RAKDED confirmed that all stores will test their employees for COVID-19 before reopening the malls. Staff will be required to wear masks and gloves and change them frequently; their temperature will be taken every day upon entering the premises, while additional temperature checks will be conducted throughout the day.
Crowding must be controlled and avoided, the Department cautioned, noting that only one person per five square meters must be admitted. E-payment solutions should be encouraged and returns and exchanges prohibited. Shopping carts must be sanitized before and after every use, and certain activities should be restricted, such as testing cosmetics and perfumes or trying on shoes; indeed, fitting rooms should remain completely shut.
RAKDED urged restaurants located inside malls to disinfect their facilities on a daily basis, including tables and chairs, following every use. They should opt for single-use utensils and provide hand sanitizers at payment terminals. Meanwhile, salons were instructed to only offer hair and nail services, welcoming guests strictly through pre-booked appointments and adhering to social distancing regulations.
The circular called on all stakeholders to abide by the restrictions and procedures outlined within and take them seriously. The Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development will be closely and periodically monitoring compliance and taking the necessary measures to ensure public health and safety, as well as business continuity.