The announcement excludes pharmacies and supermarkets…

In a statement on Monday March 23, the UAE government has announced the closure of all malls across the country for the next two weeks, subject to review and re-assessment.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said the decision will take affect in 48 hours, so should be from Wednesday March 25.

All retail stores will be closed, as well as fish, meat and vegetables markets. The statement said that the decision ‘excludes pharmacies, and food retail outlets, including cooperative societies, grocery stores, and supermarkets, along with fish, meat and vegetables markets dealing with wholesalers’.

Restaurants will not be allowed to receive customers at their physical site and their services will be limited only to home deliveries.

In recent days, many malls across the country had reduced their hours to limit the amount of time that customers can spend in the shopping centre. The Dubai Mall has also announced a partnership with Noon.com to take their services online.

The news comes as the government urges everyone in the UAE to stay at home, unless absolutely necessary. The plea mentioned that people should only leave their homes for emergencies or for work.