According to a directive from the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, food retail outlets – including supermarkets, grocery stores, cooperative societies as well as pharmacies – can stay open 24/7.
However, establishments that choose to stay open cannot exceed a maximum capacity of 30% of their total occupancy to follow the recommended directive around social distancing, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Commenting on the development, V. Nandakumar, chief communications officer, Lulu Group International said, “Lulu Hypermarkets across the UAE are open from 8-12 AM every single day; as of now, we feel our operating hours are enough to meet the consumer demand. Plus, we are delivering to doorsteps as well. Having said that, we will assess the situation, day-to-day, hour-by-hour and take measures and decisions accordingly. We are fully prepared to stay open 24/7, but only if required.”
On a similar note, Kamal Vachani, group director, Almaya Group, stated, “Our supermarkets in the UAE are, in any case, open for 24 hours. To deal with the current situation, we have stepped up health and safety measures – such as thorough and frequent cleaning of surfaces, shelves and stocks; constant cleaning and sanitisation of trolleys. We are totally committed to the health, wellness and safety of our staff – not only now, but all-year round. Currently, they are frequently washing and sanitizing their hands, every 15-20 minutes or less, they are wearing masks and gloves. We have urged our customers, through notices at our supermarkets, to maintain a 1.5-metre distance between shoppers and our cashiers. With the rise in online orders, our delivery executives are taking all safety measures to ensure safe and timely delivery of goods to customers’ doorsteps.”
In addition, Almaya has also collaborated with the likes of Amazon.ae, noon.com and InstaShop to ensure smooth delivery.
On part of Urban Foods that operates Géant, Franprix and Monoprix in the UAE, CEO Mark Lack said, “The health and well-being of both our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance to us, we are continually monitoring and assessing the situation to see which stores could or would be able to stay open for extended hours.”
“In response to the latest directive from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, we have extended our working hours to be operational from 7-12 AM across Grandiose branches in the UAE and continue to assure same-day delivery for our customers. We also expanded our delivery-radius to serve more areas in order to accommodate our customers’ needs in these trying times. Additionally, our branch in Dubai Marina Promenade now opens its doors 24-hours, 7-days a week to guarantee accessibility throughout the day,” shared Olivier Latour, CEO for French supermarket chain Grandiose.
“To ensure our employees’ safety, we regularly check their temperatures and have implemented other daily health checks routines in all of our stores. Extensive store sterilisation measures are being executed, such as pre-opening sanitisation and routine store cleaning around the clock.” he concluded.