UAE: Where Safety Comes First
We are living in extraordinary times. And such exceptional circumstances require us to adapt accordingly and embrace a new normal. As the Government of UAE gears up to full throttle fight against COVID-19, the efficiency and care with which they are handling the situation is commendable and inspirational.
To ensure the safety of the residents, UAE has adopted social distancing as one of the essential ways to curb the spread of COVID-19. The government has called for a 24-hour movement restriction starting April 4th, while the nation-wide sterilisation drive takes place. They are working every day to disinfect all public places including public transport systems. Given that the UAE has always been technologically advanced, they turned to innovative ways for the disinfection drive by using drones.
Not just that, residents are not allowed to go out of their homes, unless it is for essentials, but only once they’ve received an e-permit from the government. The private and public sector have been asked to work from home. Schools have been closed and students have now adopted e-learning and online exams. Violations will be dealt with very strictly, as staying home is for the benefit of everyone in the country.
Grocery shops, pharmacies, petrol stations and supermarkets are open 24 hours, while restaurants are allowed to deliver food. All public places have been closed down. Only vital sector employees, i.e. healthcare, frontliners, media, aviation and security are allowed to be working but will have to get a permit from the government.
Dubai Metro has been halted, while the buses are plying and are free for vital sector employees, and taxis have been installed with isolators and offer a 50% discount. Radars have been installed on the roads to monitor movement and detect violators.
The UAE Government has installed Drive-Thru COVID-19 test centres to ease out the process. UAE has currently conducted more than half a million tests and has lower mortality rates owing to the younger demographic in their population.
Travel bans have been imposed on all inbound and outbound passenger flights, barring a few flights that started on April 5 for residents, visitors who wish to leave the UAE.
Even at the airport, travellers are screened thoroughly. E-gates have been closed. Entry for all residents living abroad has been suspended. No new visas will be issued for the time being, until the situation gets better.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, promised all the residents that there is an infinite supply of food and medicine, thus diffusing any cause for panic.
In order to take care of the economy, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has announced that they will inject liquidity into Emirates Airlines, as it plays a key role in the economy of Dubai and its position as an international aviation hub. The Central Bank has also announced regulatory reliefs to inject more liquidity into the banks of UAE. They will increase the Targeted Economic Support Scheme from a 100 billion dirhams to 256 billion dirhams. This will help to manage the economy and reduce effects.
In addition to the above, the government has also announced an economic stimulus package to support the business sector and reduce living costs in Dubai. This includes 15 initiatives that serve the retail, trade, tourism and energy sectors.
The visionary leadership of the UAE has helped in dealing with the situation in a calm, efficient and orderly fashion. In the current situation, the government is working hard, along with the frontliners, to ensure safety and security for everyone. For that, we thank you, UAE, for always prioritising the safety of your residents.