On 25 May 2020, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, has announced the gradual reopening of business activities in Dubai and removal of all movement restrictions between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm, as of 27 May 2020. The sectors allowed to resume activities include retail and wholesale outlets, airports, clinics, educational and training institutions, sports academies, cinemas, entertainment and leisure attractions, and auctions.

In implementation of the decision by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan regarding the resumption of economic activities, the Dubai Department of Economic Development (Dubai DED) has issued the amended guidelines for the reopening of economic activities post Eid Al Fitr (or 27 May 2020). The Dubai DED guidelines set out the maximum occupancy percentages for each of the economic activities allowed to reopen and the applicable mandatory safety measures and restrictions. According to the Dubai DED guidelines, offices are allowed to resume normal operating hours and increase staffing to a maximum of 50%. 

Moreover, the Dubai Sports Council has issued the reopening guidelines containing controls and procedures for the return of sports activities in fitness training centers and academies in Dubai.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has also updated their gradual reopening guidelines stating that, as of Wednesday 27 May:

  • All offices are allowed to resume normal operations and working hours; and
  • All offices are allowed to increase capacity levels of staffing to 50%.

The DIFC guidelines also set out the maximum occupancy for the various retail and food and beverages outlets.

Government ministries and services

On 27 May 2020, the Federal Authority for Human Resources has announced the return to work in all Federal Ministries as of Sunday May 31 at a maximum capacity of 30% of the total workforce. The return to work from office will be implemented in parallel with the continuation of remote working system for certain exempted groups of employees.

Similarly, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan approved the gradual return of Dubai government employees to work from offices, as per the following guidelines:

  • 50% of Dubai government employees will start working from the office as of 31 May 2020, increasing such percentage to 100% of the workforce as of 14 June 2020.
  • Certain employees, such as those with low immunity, elderly and pregnant employees, will still be allowed to work from home.
  • Customers are encouraged to use smart platforms to access government services.
  • Precautionary measures will continue to be strictly enforced in government offices.

To speak to us about your business reopening and operational issues in the UAE, please feel free to contact one of the lawyers below or your usual Baker McKenzie contact.


UAE COVID-19 Hotline

We encourage clients and contacts to raise any questions or concerns you may have pertaining to COVID-19, its impact on your business and measures to take. Feel free to send your questions through to UAE.COVID-19-Hotline@bakermckenzie.com and we will assign a department head to respond to your query. 

You can also read our previous COVID-19 related alerts on our Baker McKenzie Beyond COVID-19 Resource Center.


Author

Omar Momany is the Head of the UAE Corporate & Commercial practice of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai. With over 15 years' experience in the Middle East, Omar focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, corporate governance, joint ventures, commercial matters and corporate/shareholders' disputes in the UAE and throughout the region.

Author

Hani Naja is a partner in the Corporate & Commercial practice of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla. He has been practicing since 2007 with a focus on M&A, reorganizations and post-acquisition integration as well as corporate structuring in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE and Qatar. Hani also advises on general commercial, corporate governance and compliance matters, and has gained substantive experience in the technology, retail, defense and government sectors.

Author

Joanna Matthews-Taylor is the UAE Head of the Employment practice of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai. She is experienced in the full spectrum of employment law issues, including recruitment, employment contracts, benefits, protection of confidential information and termination. She has also advised clients on the employment aspects of corporate transactions, cross-border secondments and the mobility of employees in the Middle East.

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