The UAE’s economic crisis is gradually exacerbated, as stocks continued to decline amid selling waves on the part of investors, with successive measures taken by the state to combat the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The authorities in the country decided to close the commercial malls, including the famous centers in Dubai, for two weeks, in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus after the death of two people.
The Ministry of Health and the National Authority for Emergencies and Crises in the Emirates said that it was decided to “close all commercial centers, shopping centers and open markets that include the sale of fish, vegetables and meat”, while excluding “cooperative societies, groceries, supermarkets” and pharmacies.
The decision shall be valid for a period of two weeks subject to review and evaluation, provided that it shall come into effect from Tuesday. It was also decided that restaurants will be restricted by not receiving customers and merely providing delivery services and home delivery.
And shopping centers, is one of the main arteries of life in the UAE cities, especially Dubai, which depends mainly on its resources for shopping and tourists, as it includes the “Dubai Mall” near the Burj Khalifa, which is one of the largest shopping centers in the world.
Dubai is heavily dependent on tourism, and about 16 million people visit it annually. The emirate, which plans to host the World Expo 2020, starting next October, aspired to receive 25 million visitors this year, while international financial institutions expected that the effects of the Coronavirus will have negative impacts on the exhibition and the number of its visitors.
Meanwhile, the UAE real estate company, Emaar, has stopped accepting reservations in other hotels in Dubai, in light of the outbreak of the new Coronavirus.
The company suspended reservations in three additional hotels in Dubai ten weeks from Sunday, in light of a collapse in demand due to the deadly coronavirus.
The hotel reservation site “Emaar”, which is one of the largest hotel operators in Dubai, shows the inability to reserve hotels in the address “The Dubai Mall”, “The Address Sky View” and “Palace Downtown”, from March 22 to May 31.
The Emirati company has stopped receiving reservations at a number of famous hotels it operates because of the decreased demand for it, due to the increasing spread of the Coronavirus.
A company document revealed that it will stop receiving reservations at three hotels in Dubai for more than five months, starting from March 15 to August 31.
The hotels where the company decided to stop reservations include: “Address Fountain Views” which is located in the popular downtown area of Dubai near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, and is one of the most recent “Emaar” hotels.
The reservations of the “Vida Creek Harbor” and “Vida Emirates Hills” hotels were also suspended, which would constitute expected significant financial losses as a result of these measures.
In the past few days, the UAE has taken precautionary measures, including stopping flights and suspending education in schools, for fear of spreading the virus that has caused the deaths of thousands around the world.
Last Saturday, the authorities decided to close their shores in the wake of hundreds of residents’ hesitation, despite calls to avoid social mixing to limit the spread of the virus.
UAE stocks fell in the beginning of trading today, topping the declines of the Gulf stock exchanges, as the general index of the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange fell by 3.1 per cent, and the Dubai Financial Market Index fell 1.59 per cent.
Yesterday, “Emirates Airlines”, one of the largest airlines that organize long-distance trips in the world, said that it will stop this week almost all passenger transport flights and reduce the salaries of its employees by half due to the decrease in the demand for travel due to the corona rampage.
On Sunday, the UAE shares suffered the largest losses in the Gulf, after the general index of Abu Dhabi market declined by 3.61%, and the Dubai Financial Market Index decreased by 2.05%.
Standard & Poor’s, the global credit rating agency, said in a report last February that Dubai’s hospitality sector was the most exposed to risk in the Gulf region.
The damage to tourism, aviation and shopping in the UAE is adding to the dilemma of the real estate sector, according to the international rating agency, which, in another report published last November, before the appearance of the Coronavirus, excluded that Expo 2020 would improve the “harsh” conditions in the real estate market. in Dubai.
A monitoring of official data issued by the Dubai Land Department said that real estate deals in Dubai are falling 41% on a monthly basis during January.
The total value of Dubai real estate purchase and mortgage deals was 16.7 billion dirhams ($4.55 billion) in January, compared to 28.3 billion dirhams (7.7 billion dollars) in December.
The damage caused by the spread of the Coronavirus increases the financial difficulties experienced by the Emirates due to the tumbling oil prices to about $30 a barrel, losing nearly 60 per cent since the beginning of the year 2020, in light of the raging production war between OPEC countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia in the other end.