The tourism department of Dubai has announced the immediate cancellation of all live entertainment as Covid cases surge in the emirate.
One day after suspending non-essentials surgery for a month as hospitals struggle to deal with an alarming rise in Covid infections, the emirate – which had previously been seen as a preferred getaway for people escaping tougher lockdowns at home – has been forced to cancel all live entertainment in hotels and restaurants. Last week, Dubai’s tourism department announced it had “observed, through field inspection, an increase in the number of violations during entertainment activities.” While hotel bars and restaurants can stay open for the time being, new licenses were being suspended pending a lowering of case numbers.
Hotel occupancy in Dubai reached 70 per cent in December – not far below 2019 rates. Over New Year’s along nearly 70,000 visitors passed through the airport.
The UAE is second only to Israel in terms of rapid rollout of its vaccination programme, and plans to vaccinate half of its 9 million residents by the end of March. Last week, the UAE also approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and plans to distribute it along with the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine, which is being offered to all people over 16. The Pfizer-Biontech vaccine is also available, but due to limited supply is only available to the over-60s.