June 2, 2020 / 2:27 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Dubai to reopen malls and private businesses

(Adds detail, background)

DUBAI, June 2 (Reuters) - Dubai will allow the full reopening of malls and private businesses starting on Wednesday, its media office said, after the gleaming United Arab Emirates business hub began easing restrictions last month.

Some retail and wholesale businesses reopened in May, subject to sterilisation operations and social distancing, along with cinemas, gyms, ice rinks and its indoor ski slope.

Dubai’s economy, which heavily relies on retail, tourism and hospitality, has suffered from the lockdown and travel restrictions as the coronavirus outbreak spread.

Dubai-based Emirates, which flew to 157 destinations in 83 countries before the pandemic, grounded passenger flights in March and has since operated few, limited services.

Emirates’ outgoing president, Tim Clark, said on Monday it could take the carrier up to four years to resume flying to its entire network.

Bank of America said in a research note Dubai could see a recession of around 5.5% in 2020 as revenues are expected to drop in line with the pattern of the 2009 crisis. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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