Hotels in Dubai will be able to reopen their private beaches to their guests, in a relaxation of restrictions that have been in place since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management issued the directive, which stressed that the relaxation would still be accompanied by stringent preventive measures, including mandatory physical distancing between individuals.

In addition, sports and recreational activities are now permitted in open spaces for up to five people, including cycling, watersports and skydiving.

On April 14, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing extended the closure of hotels “until further notice”, as its disinfection programme continued throughout the city.

Hotels in the emirate responded duly: Emaar Hospitality suspended bookings at three of its properties – the Address Fountain Views, Vida Creek Harbour and Vida Emirates Hills – from March 15 to August 31, with others, such as Nikki Beach Dubai, announcing closure until further notice.

In Abu Dhabi, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) issued a list of guidelines for reopening restaurants and lounges in hotels in the emirate, which it said would be checked by inspectors. Guidelines included the addition of an isolation room for suspected Covid-19 cases, as well as a maximum 30 per cent capacity.

With the closures eased, a raft of properties have started to promote staycation offerings to UAE residents, who may look to take advantage of coastal access as public beaches remain closed.

Andaz Dubai the Palm offered overnight stays for AED550 per night, with access to its 300-metre private beach. The hotel said that it was operating at 30 per cent capacity, with measures put in place to avoid physical contamination that include a QR code for digital menus. Also re-opened on the Palm is FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, which promoted rooms from AED700 per night with fully redeemable food and drink at its restaurants. JA the Resort announced room rates starting from 396AED per night for use of its 800-metre private beach as well as its shooting club and golf course on the property.