Our first-hand account of shopping and dining at the mall today.
Your favourite stores are ready and waiting to welcome you back to Mall of the Emirates
With malls, salons, hotels, beaches, pools and tourist attractions all welcoming visitors, and a growing number of residents making their way back to the office, Dubai is open for business again – with new guidelines, measures and procedures in place to keep us all safe and protected from COVID-19.
The “new normal” is a phrase we are hearing more and more these days – but what is the new normal at Mall of the Emirates? What is it like to go shopping at the mall today? Let us write a new beginning.
Just like in any public space, face masks are compulsory at Mall of the Emirates, so do not leave home without one. Entering the mall from the car park, we walked right past a high-tech thermal imaging camera before we even realised our temperature had just been checked.
There are safety measures throughout the Mall of the Emirates to protect consumers
Inside the mall, there are countless reminders to maintain social distancing of 2 metres – from stickers on the floors and elevators to regular public announcements over the mall’s PA system. What’s more, you do not have to look far in any direction to find a free hand sanitiser station, and you will spot mall staff regularly cleaning surfaces like elevator handrails. We had initially feared it might all be a bit overwhelming. It is reassuring.
Staff at Charlotte Tilbury has a new way to show you make-up demonstrations
The shopping experience at Charlotte Tilbury, for example, is a little different at this particular time – but the staff remain helpful and professional. While the make-up specialists are not permitted to apply cosmetics to a consumer’s face now, they are armed with iPads. They will direct you to online demonstrations and tutorials about your chosen product.
Still, want to give that lipstick a little twist and swatch? Ask the staff for disposable gloves, and you can then sample the make-up on your covered hands or arms.
Consumers are heading back to H&M, Mall of the Emirates
We popped in and out some women’s fashion stores, and picked up a few sale bargains. Some stores will also take your temperature as you enter, but not all. Hand sanitiser at checkouts is universal throughout, though. What every store also has in common is shop assistants fully versed in what measures are in place to make consumers feel at ease. If you have a question, ask them – they are there to help. The store assistants we spoke to were happy to report shopper confidence was on the up – particularly evident in the number of families visiting the mall now that the restriction on kids under 12 has been lifted.
Watch great movies while social distancing at Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates
Thinking of a future date night with your spouse, we headed over to Vox Cinemas, where a beneficial assistant explained the social distancing measures we could expect. Yes, you and your better half can sit together, while ushers will ensure there are two vacant seats to either side. Masks must be worn during the duration of the movie unless you are eating food – and the ushers will discreetly check to make sure everyone is following the rules.
Scan a QR code to download the Cheesecake Factory’s menu
Talk of food made us realise we had not eaten and so we hightailed it over to The Cheesecake Factory for a late lunch. Bright signs indicate where you can and cannot sit. Physical menus have been removed from service. Instead, download a QR reading app to your phone and scan the QR code on your table to view the menu. Not only is this more hygienic – it is more environmentally friendly!
Masks removed as we tucked into a house salad and a mountain of French fries, we reflected on the new normal experience at Mall of the Emirates. Sure, the situation is different from this time last year, but you know what? In many ways, we like it better.