Coronavirus: Authorities allow Dubai bars to open with restrictions

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Licensed premises can only sell alcohol with food and must use plastic cups

May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020


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Dubai's licensed bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol once Ramadan ends, police said.

A notice sent from Dubai Police's licensing section to suppliers confirmed sales could begin on Saturday or Sunday, depending on when Eid was called.

Drinks must be served directly to tables and patrons cannot stand at bars, even if they are part of the restaurant.

Alcohol can only be served when ordering food and all drinks must be served in disposable plastic cups.

Like other countries, the UAE shuttered cafes, bars and restaurants in March as the scale of the coronavirus outbreak became clear.

In the past two weeks, authorities began gradually opening malls, retail outlets and restaurants.

Dubai opened hotel beaches last week though public beaches remain closed.

In some of the Northern Emirates, hotels and bars began trading two weeks ago to capitalise on staycations for residents, allowing pools and beaches to open.

To ensure social distancing measures are met, restaurants are allowed to admit no more than 30 per cent of their capacity and provide single-use cutlery and plates.

Swimming pools in Dubai also remain closed to the public, which led to many residents flocking to the Northern Emirates, where the rules are slightly more relaxed, to gain pool access in resorts where alcohol was not prohibited.

Dubai's authorities have eased licensing restrictions in recent years allowing some bars to remain open during Ramadan as the holy month moved into the spring tourism season.

It has also allowed a small number of operators not attached to hotels to sell alcohol during food truck festivals and at sporting events.

Updated: May 20, 2020 05:08 PM

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