What to Expect When Dining Out in Dubai
What customers can expect before, during, and after dining out in Dubai in the coronavirus pandemic.
31 May 2020
Be prepared for a lot of changes to your dining experience in the city.
Considering eating outside at your favourite restaurant or cafe in Dubai? In the UAE, over 60 per cent of the population dine out at least once a week, but the vibrant international food scene that many of us are familiar with has seen major changes over the past few months.
Dine-ins reopened this May after weeks of takeout and delivery services only, with food establishments accepting a maximum 30 per cent of their usual diner intake. Tables and chairs are also spaced out for social distancing, and restaurants are adhering to mandatory regular sanitisation.
But before you head out for a meal, local health authorities advise taking the following steps as well as to keep in mind the new health and safety rules.
Rules dine-in customers should follow
To review, COVID-19 can be spread from someone who is infected, usually via sneezing or coughing. The droplets that come out from an infected person’s nose and mouth can pass on the virus if it lands on you or a surface you touch, and you then touch your eyes, hands, or mouth. This includes the food you eat, if the droplets land on it.
The novel coronavirus can stay alive on most surfaces, such as plastic, for up to three days.
To help keep Dubai restaurants safe for customers and staff, diners can expect the following rules to follow:
- 1. Temperature checks at the door
- 2. Customers must wear face masks
- 3. Some restaurants require diners to wear hand gloves
- 4. Social distancing of at least 2-metres
- 5. Contactless payment, where possible
- 6. No more than 3 people per table, except for families
The standard rule is that children under 12 years old, elderly above 60, and those who have or live with people with chronic diseases are not allowed to enter public establishments. However, some restaurants are accepting younger diners. It's recommended to call the restaurant ahead to double check.
New changes to restaurants
Hand sanitisers are freely available in restaurants, and customers are encouraged to use it before and after a meal.
Some establishments will use disposable paper menus and single-use utensils.
Social distancing between tables, leaving some tables unused.
There are restaurants that may not accept customers unless you are wearing face masks and gloves.
If you see these changes and rules, be assured that they are signs of a good restaurant doing its job to protect its diners.
Changes in menus
For a while, Dubai restaurants were prohibited from offering all beverages in their menu. This rule changed after the Eid Al Fitr holidays, allowing licensed restaurants to serve all drinks available in their menu.
However, bars and cabarets remain banned from serving drinks.