Fortunately, the city of Dubai has witnessed a sharp decline in coronavirus cases in recent months, with more than half of its population having already received the Covid-19 vaccine. However, authorities fear that the upcoming Eid Al Fitr celebrations might lead to a rapid resurge in the positivity ratio in the emirate. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government announced the official holidays for the festive occasion last week, calling for the closure of all businesses, starting from the 29th of Ramadan until the 3rd of Shawwal. The exact dates depend on when the crescent moon is sighted but the first day of Eid is expected to fall either on May 12 or May 13.
Now, a top police official has announced that gatherings of more than five people are banned on Eid days. If anyone is caught breaking the rules, the host of the gathering will be fined Dh50,000, and each guest will be asked to pay Dh15,000. Brigadier-General Saif Muhair Saeed Al Mazrouei, Director of the General Traffic Department, said additional police patrols have been deployed in various parts of the city to monitor any violations in Covid precautionary protocols. Over 3,000 policemen will be positioned across Dubai. Approximately 500 police patrols and 32 bicycle patrols will go around monitoring every corner of the city.
Mazrouei stated if more than three non-family members are found travelling in the same car, the police will fine them, while they conduct recce of malls, beaches, mosques and roads. Earlier, the UAE government laid out guidelines discouraging house-hopping during the three days of Eid. Moreover, it instructed that greetings may be exchanged through electronic means of communication and not in person. Neighbours and family members are not allowed to gift each other presents or share food. The age-old tradition of giving cash or gifts (Eidiya) must be avoided too and can be transferred to bank accounts if needed.