By Lubna Hamdan
Government guidelines are 'clear cut' according to the founder of D3 restaurant Akiba Dori
Restaurants across Dubai have received the green light to reopen after nearly a month of closures as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Hotel restaurants were given a head start and allowed to reopen on Friday, while others will restart operations tomorrow, according to government directives.
Jumeirah Group reopened three of its restaurants - Kayto, Rockfish and Shimmers - in Jumeirah Al Naseem and Mina A’ Salaam respectively on Friday and Saturday.
JW Marriott Marquis will also see the reopening of two restaurants on Tuesday, Tong Thai and Prime 68. Hotels like DoubleTree by Hilton and Five on the Palm Jumeirah have not yet decided to reopen restaurants.
Samer Hamadeh, founder of Aegis Hospitality, which operates restaurant Akiba Dori, said government guidelines are “clear cut” for those who wish to reopen, and that there is no room for misinterpretations of the law, particularly when it comes to social distancing measures.
"The most basic part is they’re going to take the space you have for your dining area - for the sake of argument let’s say you have 100 square metres of dining area - they’re going to divide that by four and that’s going to be your seating capacity for the foreseeable future… that will give you 25 people,” he told Dubai Eye's Business Breakfast show this morning.
While Hamadeh predicts some resistance from the public when it comes to dining out following the lifting of the lockdown, he said restaurants will see life “go back to normal” in two months' time.
"I think people will be resistant at first but it will start going back to normal, human nature is resilient, they want to see their friends, they want to experience what they love about a city and no amount of virus is going to stop that.
"Obviously, people with underlying health issues and are over a certain age should stay home and not go out but over the next month or two, we're going to see life go back to normal. The authorities wouldn’t have reopened the city if they can't contain whatever is coming our way,” he said.