Dubai tourism authority relaxes covid occupancy restrictions for hotels

Coronavirus-related restrictions on hotel operations in Dubai have been relaxed, according to a circular sent by the Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The circular tells industry stakeholders that they can now operate at 80 percent capacity, up from the 70 percent stipulated in rules issued by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in late February.

“We are happy to announced that… we have increased the occupancy allowance at the hotels to 80 percent while adhering to all the precautionary and safety measures and guidelines,” read the circular.

“Moreover, we highly encourage you to ensure your whole workforce and staff have completed the vaccinations,” it added.

During the pandemic, 92 percent of people saw Dubai as the safest place in the world to conduct business meetings, Dubai Tourism Chief Helal Saeed Almarri.

Almarri, speaking at the Dubai Global Events Re-opening Forum last month, also said that 98-99 percent of international visitors to Dubai after re-opening felt safe or very safe.

Although the city was one of the first to shut down, it also became one of the first to reopen. Domestic tourism returned in May and international visitors were welcomed back to the emirate in July.

In February, it was announced that coronavirus precautionary measures would be extended until the start of Ramadan in mid-April.

The precautionary measures that will be extended until the start of Ramadan include:

  • Indoor venues, including cinemas and entertainment and sports venues, will continue to operate at 50 percent of maximum capacity and under intensified precautionary measures.
  • Visitors allowed in shopping malls will be limited to 70 percent of total capacity.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be required to close by 1am.
  • Pubs/bars will remain closed.
  • Intensified monitoring and inspection campaigns will continue to ensure strict compliance with measures including physical distancing and wearing of facemasks.

Dubai International Airport reported a 70 percent slump in traffic last year as flights were grounded and borders were closed in measures designed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The number of travellers through the Middle East’s tourism hub fell to 25.9 million in 2020 – that included 17.8 million passengers in the first quarter of the year.

On Thursday, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced 2,315 new coronavirus cases were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 463,759.

MoHAP also announced two deaths and 2,435 recoveries, bringing the total number to 1,499 and 447,790 respectively.