Dubai: Dubai restaurants have started offering discounts to customers who have been vaccinated against the Corona virus, amid a vaccination campaign as the emirate seeks to combat the epidemic without closing its doors.
The UAE says it has already vaccinated 2.5 million of its population of about 10 million, the second highest in the world after Israel.
The social media posts of three restaurants run by Gates Hospitality say, “Spread the love, not Runa,” and are offering a 10% discount for residents who took the first dose of the vaccine and 20% for those who took two.
Diners must show evidence of vaccination, such as a medical certificate, to receive the discount.
While some people welcomed the move, it raised eyebrows on social media.
One tweet said, “There are two ways to look at it, either it’s another marketing ploy, or a real drive to impregnate more people.”
The UAE, made up of seven emirates including Dubai, began mass vaccinations in December after the approval of vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinopharm, the US drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner, Biointec.
The Dubai Health Authority said this week it would have to cut back on vaccinations after Pfizer announced shipping delays due to work at its main factory in Belgium.
The Sinopharm vaccine is still available free of charge.
Despite the sharp rise in the number of cases since the new year, Dubai is still open to tourism, restaurants and services are operating, although there are rules on concealment and spacing.
Over the weekend, guidelines were tightened, with the number of people permitted at social gatherings reduced from 200 to 10, and restaurants and cafes ordered to increase the spacing between tables from two meters to three.
The attractive emirate has also halted unnecessary surgery in hospitals after a spike in the number of Covid-19 infections.
While other tourist destinations impose strict restrictions to control the epidemic, Dubai reopened its doors to visitors in July.
On Sunday, the UAE announced 3,579 cases of Covid-19 virus, a new high for the thirteenth consecutive day.
So far, more than 277,000 injuries have been recorded, including 792 deaths.