ADDED allows cinemas inside shopping malls to resume activities and open their doors to public across Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a new circular allowing owners of cinemas inside shopping malls across Abu Dhabi to resume operations and open their doors to the public provided they comply to the precautionary measures being implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The move was made in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee for Covid-19 pandemic.


H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, stated that the new circular is part of the Department’s efforts to support the services and entertainment sectors and expedite their gradual return in providing various activities to better serve the members of the community following a series of closure circulars due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“The recent circular directs cinema owners to resume their activities at only 30 per cent capacity of their halls while continuously sanitizing and cleaning all their service facilities and common areas where food and beverage (F&B) products are sold. They also should apply social distancing measures between visitors inside and outside the cinema halls; comply with wearing masks; and conduct COVID-19 tests for all their staff members. Granting the cinema reopening permit is subject to the fulfillment of all the set of requirements,” Al Balooshi added.      


H.E. Al Balooshi mentioned that the circular includes ensuring the compliance to all the precautionary measures and instructions stipulated in other previously issued circulars concerning the resumption of activities, and that fully adhering to these measures are necessary to reopen cinemas, considering that a large number of people visit these venues, especially when new films are running.


He emphasized that cinemas that do not comply with the circular’s conditions and instructions will not be permitted to resume activities and display movies. He also highlighted that ADDED’s inspection and monitoring teams will conduct visits to ensure the implementation of all precautionary measures and procedures. Meanwhile, penalties will be issued to violators.


ADDED’s Undersecretary noted that there are 19 cinemas operating in the emirate, 12 in Abu Dhabi city, six in Al Ain city and one in Al Dhafra region. He emphasized the importance of executing comprehensive daily sanitization of all cinema halls after their operation hours and between shows, providing that 20 – 30-minute break shall separate between each show. Moreover, hand sanitizers should be offered in all public areas, entries, exits, washrooms, and other prominent areas.  


Al Balooshi highlighted that F&B products should be provided in disposable single-use utensils, containers, and cups. Cinemas are also advised to encourage visitors to use electronic payment methods and buy tickets in advance using digital platforms. Furthermore, cinemas are required to allocate two seats for each visitor; empty the on both sides; cancel an entire row between each two rows; and clearly place social distancing marks on the floor and instruction signs at entries, exits, ticket windows and refreshments areas. They are also not allowed to use touch screens to display movies’ trailers or use ticket dispensing machines. In addition, distribution of movies’ promotional leaflets or brochures to the public is prohibited.


ADDED has instructed cinema owners to arrange for COVID-19 tests for all their staff members. The cinema staff and visitors also must always wear gloves and masks while blankets, covers or massage seats allocated in key areas within cinema halls should not be provided for visitors.

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