Situation in Dubai
No one expected the whole world to stop at once but here we are with most countries in pandemic lockdown. However, this is the first time people are facing such a situation so what are they doing during such circumstances to keep themselves occupied. Today, we ask the inhabitants of one of the world’s most famous and visited cities, Dubai, about what they are doing to survive this pandemic lockdown. Ever since the pandemic was declared, the officials of UAE have taken every necessary step to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Important steps were taken by the government which included a disinfection drive on a daily basis to keep the streets sanitized at every time. Only people working for “essential businesses” were allowed to leave home from work but all of that changed on 4th April when Dubai implemented the 24-hours stay at home order to curb the spread of the virus. Moreover, a permit system was introduced, hence, making it compulsory for everyone to get permission before they could step out of their home to buy groceries or even visit a doctor. Since the start of Ramadan, restrictions stared to cool down to allow people some relaxation. This also saw the reopening of malls in Dubai; however, they were being monitored by the state and were open to less than half capacity. This has led to people coming out for a walk for an hour or two as the government doesn’t allow more time than that. It has also restricted the movement of children and senior citizens out of the house since they are the most vulnerable to the virus. Huge fines are also introduced by the government for people who are caught without a mask or glove as the government is taking nothing lightly. UAE is planning to open its doors to the world again by the start of July and to make the country risk free from the virus; it is not leaving any stone unturned. The government is easing the lockdown but in phases to minimize the risk and dangers but still has more than a month of lockdown. In a city like Dubai which is always buzzing, it must be quite difficult for people to adjust to this new lifestyle. That is why we talked to people belonging from different industries and of different age groups to see how people are spending their life during the pandemic lockdown in the best Emirate of UAE, Dubai.
What are People Doing during the Lockdown in Dubai?
Moroccan businesswoman and Maths teacher Farah Hayat told us that she has been doing lots of yoga to keep her mind at ease during this dark time. She is living in Dubai with her brother, who is also isolated with her, and spends most of her day socializing with her brother, doing yoga or working on her business as she ventures into making her business digitalize to make good use of this time to establish an online market for her products. She also said that she doesn’t even leave the house till it’s urgent as she wants the virus to end quickly so they can resume their normal lifestyle.
Lebanese journalist Fatimah Ayat said she spends most of her time working from home as most of her work is published online so she has to submit her articles every now and then. She also said social media takes most of her leisure time with her favorite being Facebook and Instagram. The Dubai based journalist also said to enjoy reading a lot of novels during her free time while she is also using this time to connect with her family whom she feels were neglected by her before the whole lockdown scenario.
Sam Miller, an English businessman who has spent the last 20 years of his life in Dubai said that he has never seen anything like this during his entire lifetime. While talking to us, he also mentioned how he missed early morning Starbucks coffee while he’s on his way to office along with the buzzing nightlife of the city. During his leisure time, he spends most of his time communicating with close friends and colleagues through WhatsApp messages as he said that everyone should keep an eye on their loved ones during such difficult circumstances and we couldn’t agree more with him. He said that he is also using different platforms of social media to raise awareness about the virus and what measures should people take to avoid putting themselves or their loved ones at risk.
Raj Prathik, a cook by profession, also has a big social circle, but due to the severity of the issue, he too has isolated himself in his apartment for the past couple of weeks. He works for a renowned restaurant and said that he is missing his work a lot nowadays. He said that he uses most of his time trying to expand his culinary skills by learning new recipes and trying to make different cuisines.
Alam Ali, a Bio-Medical Engineer, has also self-isolated himself and has urged others to show social responsibility and isolate themselves as well. Alam, who usually spends most of his time playing mobile games, has been watching a lot of shows and dramas from other languages and cinemas to increase his watch list as he said that these series and films help him learn a lot about different cultures and societies.
Amna Karim, a sports analyst, has been at home for the last ten days and says that she is using this time to bond with her family. Amna said that she wasn’t able to give her sons proper time due to the hectic schedule of her work but with sporting events canceled throughout the world, she is left with nothing except for doing what she loves the most, making her husband and children’s favorite dishes while praying for the pandemic to end soon.