Coronavirus isn’t showing any signs of slowing down just yet. As far as the MENA region goes, 10 countries now have confirmed cases of coronavirus, with Tunisia and Morocco having joined the list yesterday, after confirming the first case of the virus.
But the GCC are feeling the biggest effects of the virus. Despite having no confirmed cases, Saudi Arabia unexpectedly placed a temporary ban on pilgrimage to the Kingdom last week to prevent the spread of the virus. Among its preliminary precautions, the Kingdom also announced that all tourist-visa holders from the two-dozen effected countries would also be denied entry.
In the UAE, a host of major organizations have implemented preventative measures due to the health-risks involved with Coronavirus. Art Dubai has officially postponed its hotly anticipated 2020 art fair. In a statement, the organization said: “In consideration of the on-going global health implications of the Coronavirus and having consulted with our partners and stakeholders, Art Dubai today announces that the 14th edition of the international art fair, scheduled for 25 – 28th March 2020, will be postponed.”
Art Dubai will host a localized programme that’s tailored to the local creative community instead. The new programme will take place during the previously scheduled dates.
Fashion Trust Arabia, which was due to take place on March 25, has also postponed its annual celebrity-filled award ceremony.
The first edition of Ultra Abu Dhabi has also been cancelled. The two-day event, which was due to take place on March 5 – 6 at Abu Dhabi’s Du Arena, has been postponed to a later date.
“The decision has been taken due to the travel restrictions imposed by some countries and airline for individuals and groups,” Ultra’s organisers said in a statement.
American rapper, Russ, who was due to perform at Dubai’s Coca Cola Arena, will no longer be travelling to the UAE for the occasion and the event has been rescheduled to November 27.
A massive K-Pop event scheduled for March 20 has been postponed indefinitely. The statement from event organisers cited the amount of cases in South Korea as the key reason for cancellation: “In light of the global developments around the COVID-19 virus, and the increasing number of infections confirmed in South Korea, MAKESTAR and the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), have taken the prudent decision to postpone ‘Music Bank in Dubai’ scheduled for March 21 at the Coca-Cola Arena.