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Tue 17 Mar 2020 08:39 PM

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UAE retail giant cuts mall opening hours as virus impact bites

Majid Al Futtaim, which operates Mall of the Emirates and City Centre brands, to cut opening hours from Wednesday

UAE retail giant cuts mall opening hours as virus impact bites
Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

UAE-based retail giant Majid Al Futtaim is to cut operating hours at its shopping malls as it fights the spread of the new coronavirus, known as Covid-19.

The move by the company, which runs the Mall of the Emirates and City Centre retail brands in the UAE, comes as the country has so far reported a total of 98 coronavirus infections.

In a letter to retail tenants, Shireen El Khatib, CEO of the company's shopping mall business unit, said its malls will open from midday to 8pm from Wednesday, exclusing Carrefour, pharmacies and clinics.

It said the reduced hours were the latest move in an effort to counter the spread of Covid-19. The company has also carried out a comprehensive regime of deep cleaning and sanitisation while also educating its staff on health and safety protocols.

"In the interest of working together and to ensure we confidently navigate the current economic situation, we are reducing certain cost elements. These include making necessary adjustments in our  customer service requirements, re-calibrating our marketing expenditures, and achieving savings through efficient utility usage," it said in a statement.

"We believe the steps that we are taking are a testament to our  commitment and belief in partnerships. Rest assured that we are and will continue to actively monitor the situation with a view to working more closely with you and all our stakeholders – including the Government," it added.

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