Retail, a people’s business, continues to display acts of kindness and prudence – world-over – in order to ensure safety and well-being of people – staff and consumers.
Closer home in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim has announced reduced operational hours – from 12-8 pm – at its shopping malls across the region. According to the mall operator, the reduced hours will ensure heightened safety for visitors by further cleaning and sanitising the assets. However, the reduced hours aren’t applicable to pharmacies, clinics and Carrefour.
Staying with Carrefour, in Bahrain the supermarket has announced special hours – from 8-9 am – dedicated for elderly and people with special needs and pregnant women.
Several shopping malls across the GCC – including Arabian Centres Company in KSA, Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi – are taking precautionary measures to ensure well-being of their own people and visitors. While certain shopping malls like Bahrain’s Seef Mall has announced BHD1 million financial fund to support tenants, and Mall of Qatar has decided to exempt retailers from rental obligations from March-May 2020.
Currently, the UAE has suspended operations of entertainment & cultural venues, spas, gyms as well as community activities-oriented spaces until end of March. Elsewhere in the GCC, Saudi Arabia has also suspended all these activities, in addition to shuttering retail stores – like Fawaz Al Hokair Fashion Retail outlets. Today, the Supreme Committee of Oman has made a similar announcement, also adding retail stores and restaurants to the list. Meanwhile, pharmacies and grocery stores will continue to operate in Oman.