#BREAKING: Shopping malls and 55 more commercial activities to reopen in Oman Wednesday

Merge 104.8  |  23 June 2020

Oman’s Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR) has announced 56 new commercial activities allowed to re-open from Wednesday [June 24] upon directives of the Supreme Committee for COVID-19.

In a statement issued today [Tuesday, June 23], the Supreme Committee, in cooperation with the public and private sector, announced a decision to re-open a new batch of commercial and industrial businesses in the Sultanate starting from tomorrow [Wednesday, June 24].

As per further details issued by the MRMWR, 56 new commercial activities have been added to the list of those allowed to operate, and include:

  1. Shopping malls and commercial complexes (Children under the age of 12 and adults over the age of 60 will not be allowed to visit malls).
  2. The following fish markets: Muttrah, Sohar, Al-Suwaiq, Al-Seib, Qurayyat, Al-Ashkhara and Ibri
  3. Fabrics and textiles stores
  4. Shops selling dyes and polishing materials
  5. Shops selling and repairing conventional weapons
  6. Manpower recruitment offices
  7. Cameras and security systems offices
  8. Plastic and paper waste stores
  9. Pottery and handicrafts trading
  10. Used spare parts shops
  11. Doors and windows shops
  12. Shows selling all kinds of kitchens
  13. Companies and offices selling and maintaining elevators and escalators
  14. Building and construction contracting offices
  15. Accessories and artificial ornaments shops
  16. Blankets and bed sheets stores
  17. Wooden and iron boxes shops
  18. Shops and factories selling charcoal and fuelwood
  19. Iron and aluminum products shops
  20. Real estate brokerage offices
  21. Furniture upholstery
  22. Blacksmith accessories and aluminum strips shops
  23. Audio tapes stores
  24. Wedding dresses and accessories stores
  25. Building cleaning offices
  26. Car seat upholstery
  27. Metal turnery
  28. Artistic production stores and offices
  29. Thermal insulation installation offices
  30. Ice factories
  31. Selling, repairing and making musical instruments
  32. Offices specialized in ink filling
  33. Financing offices
  34. Shops that sell and produce mussar
  35. Air conditioners and washing machines repair shops
  36. Workshop supplies stores
  37. Shipping and customs clearance offices 
  38. Metal engraving offices
  39. Manufacture of containers
  40. Making Omani daggers (Khanjar)
  41. Financial Brokerage Office
  42. Ironing and laundry shops
  43. Sale and installation of equipment for hotels, restaurants and kitchens
  44. Specialized stores selling glass
  45. Shops that repair and install products and glass panels
  46. Specialized stores selling tickets, antiques and paintings
  47. Advertising and media institutions
  48. Shops that cut used tires
  49. Manufacturing and installation of gypsum works
  50. Integrated tailoring workshops and garment factories
  51. Men’s and women’s tailor shops
  52. Driving schools
  53. Travel and tourism offices
  54. Family counseling offices
  55. Hospitality services companies
  56. Opening of camel tracks and fields for camel training only

The decision to re-open the above commercial activities does not apply to parts of Muttrah, Hamriya, and the Wadi Kabir Industrial Area.

Precautions for visitors, retailers, and admin at mall and commercial complexes:

  • People aged 60 years and over and under children under 12 are not allowed in.
  • Car parks in the mall should be at 50% capacity; taking into account physical spacing.
  • The prayer hall will remain closed until further notice by the Supreme Committee.
  • Focal points must be placed inside the mall to monitor and ensure that customers wear face masks, prevent customers from gathering in the same place and prevent entry in the event that the mall is getting crowded.
  • Customers must wear face masks at all times.
  • All mall visitors, retail store employees and third-party contract employees are subjected to heat checks through thermal cameras placed at all entrances.
  • Retailers, third-party contract employees and logistical business employees such as delivery or unloading must inform the center’s manager of information about infected or contacted cases subject to sanitary isolation procedures, and they must notify the center’s administration in the event of any symptoms related to Covid-19 among employees, for the center’s management to take appropriate actions.
  • Malls must provide soap and tissue paper in the toilets.
  • Malls must ensure that there are a sufficient number of waste containers, especially in the entrances and exits of the commercial center and parking lots.
  • Maintenance of good ventilation inside the mall and ensuring that the air conditioning system works well with adequate supplies of fresh air, and the cleaning of air purifiers and tubes regularly.
  • All tenants must clean and sterilize the stores before opening stores so that mall operations are safe to operate under the current conditions.
  • Retail business owners must provide hand sanitizers at the gates to enter the store or at the cashier counters, and they must be provided in multiple locations in larger stores.
  • Retailers should provide an updated list of all employees working in their stores.
  • All mall seats must be removed from public areas.
  • Hand dryers in all toilets should be closed.
  • The mall department will routinely inspect retail stores to ensure effective and frequent disinfection and sterilization by all outlets.
  • Retailers should not move an employee from one branch to another, and the mall administration should follow up on that.
  • A general guidance board should be placed on all entrances to the mall.
  • Meetings with remote vendors or contractors via Internet applications are preferred.
  • Face-to-face meetings should be avoided as much as possible. If the face-to-face meeting is necessary, this should be done in the reception area of ​​the administration, taking into account physical distance criteria.
  • During the Covid 19 pandemic, it is important to clean generally touched surfaces, especially phone screens and laptops.
  • These devices should be sterilized using 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or antiseptic wipes.
  • The commercial center reserves the right to take the necessary measures to close a shop or inform the competent or concerned municipality of any retailer that does not comply with the precautionary measures specified.

(Also read: Oman’s expat population sees significant drop in numbers since March.)