UAE residents excited to get back to offices, 'normal' lives

Residents have to be responsible and make the transition gradually

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, UAE.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, UAE.

REUTERS/Karim Sahib

Dubai residents have welcomed the directive to allow shopping malls and private sector businesses to operate at 100 per cent starting today. While many said the recent restrictions were "more or less manageable", they expressed delight at being able to resume 'normal' routines again.

Dutch resident Matthijs Stinnissen said he wasn't surprised that the city was going back to 100 per cent. The head chef at BOCA restaurant in DIFC said: "There's a lot of faith in the UAE leadership because of how they handled the situation.

"Everyone on our staff is ready to get back to work, too, but we don't want to occupy our space to maximum capacity unnecessarily. We'll see how it goes tomorrow, and if the response is positive, we'll go up to full occupancy again."

He believes residents should be responsible and make the transition gradually. "I don't think it will be wise to understand this move as freedom to go to five different places and five groups of people in one day. I understand sitting at home means the desire to get back to routine activities again will be tempting, but the best advice right now is to not be impulsive."

For Thalia Salonga, it's going to be the little things that she can't wait to get back to again. "Even going back to work will be a refreshing change of scene."

She, too, believes adhering to social distancing rules will be imperative to maintain community health as it transitions to functioning at pre-pandemic levels.

"I'd say we still need to take it easy, and continue to follow all safety measures like wearing masks and keeping safe distances," she said. "Just because everything is going back to normal doesn't mean we should forget that Covid-19 still exists," said the Filipino expat.

Husain Roomi, co-founder of H2R Design, believes it's up to business owners to ensure that the correct measures are implemented and practised at work.

"We plan to keep a distance of two metres between work stations, and at meeting rooms, and even suggesting this is implemented in the projects we design," said the Iraqi-British expat. "We have even thought of placing a buzzer in the studio to remind everyone to wash their hands. If we all adhere to these measures, it will go a long way towards making sure we commit to being responsible."

"It's great to hear we can resume our lives and careers again. It opens up new possibilities again, so that's exciting. But everyone should be individually responsible, because when we do that, we not only protect ourselves, but also the community at large."


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