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Dubai greenlights concerts, sporting events

Authorities in the UAE's largest city removed several virus-related restrictions on gatherings on Monday following vaccine progress.
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Dubai removed several coronavirus-related restrictions today.

Live entertainment events such as concerts, sports and gala dinners can now be held at restaurants, malls and other locations. Attendees and performers must be vaccinated against COVID-19, wear masks and abide by social distancing measures, Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said in a press release on Monday.

The committee also approved weddings of up to 100 vaccinated attendees and increased the capacity of entertainment venues to 70% and hotels to 100%, setting a cap of 1,500 people for indoor events and 2,500 for outdoor ones.

The move marks a major opening for the United Arab Emirates’ largest city. Dubai authorities suspended live entertainment at restaurants and hotels in January amid a virus outbreak. The next month, they instituted capacity restrictions at hotels, malls, beaches and various other locations.

COVID-19 is still spreading in the UAE, but at a slower rate than earlier this year. The Ministry of Health reported 1,229 new cases on Monday. There were close to 4,000 new infections a day in late January and early February, according to Worldometer.

The UAE is also making considerable progress in administering vaccines against the virus. There have been 116.7 doses administered per 100 people as of Monday, according to the official Emirates News Agency. The Gulf state got off to a fast start deploying the vaccine relative to its neighbors.

Much of the city’s revenue comes from entertainment and Dubai has remained open to tourists since last summer. In October, Dubai will host an “Oktoberfest” event modeled after the German original one, which is canceled this year. 

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