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The New Arab

Dubai's parks and hotel beaches reopen as coronavirus restrictions eased further

Dubai is leading the Emirates out of coronavirus lockdown [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 May, 2020

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Dubai is easing its lockdown by reopening public parks to small groups, allowing hotel guests back onto beaches and restarting tram and ferry services.
Dubai has permitted the reopening of public parks and private hotel beaches, Emirati state media said on Tuesday, as the commerce and tourism hub attempts to revive its economy.

The UAE's most populous emirate began easing its full lockdown - imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus - on 24 April, allowing restaurants and shopping malls to open their doors at limited capacity, while keeping a night-time only curfew.

Groups of up to five people may now enter public parks and undertace recreational activities in open areas, state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, hotel guests can use private beaches but must practise physical distancing.

Comment: What UAE's Mohammed bin Zayed seeks to gain from the coronavirus crisis

Tram and ferry services have also been restarted.

However mosques, cinemas, public beaches and nightclubs remain shuttered.

Fellow emirates have also been easing their restrictions, including the capital Abu Dhabi, where some shopping centres have reopened for business, while in Sharjah, both malls and restaurants have reopened.

The UAE has so far registered 19,661 coronavirus cases with 203 fatalities, the second highest death toll among the six Gulf states.

The UAE, like other Gulf Arab nations, has implemented a rigorous testing programme following an outbreak of the virus among migrant worker communities, most of whom reside in cramped accommodation.

In-depth: Gulf migrant workers count the cost of coronavirus

Emirati authorities said on Tuesday that tests were being made free-of-charge for all citizens and domestic workers, as well as disabled people, pregnant women and residents over 50 years old.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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