The Go Safe Certification Programme, an initiative spearheaded by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is continuing to be rolled out across the emirate as DCT Abu Dhabi works towards its target of standardising health and safety measures across 100 per cent of all retail, tourism, and commercial establishments in Abu Dhabi, said a report.
The initiative has brought together the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), Aldar Properties, Modon Properties, Yas Theme Parks and attractions, as well as Etihad Airways in a joint partnership, created to combat the spread of Covid-19 and keep the local economy moving by reassuring visitors and residents that they are safe to visit any establishment because of the stringent safety protocols in place, news agency WAM reported.
Building on the campaign’s notable success, the partnership paves the way for the capital to become 100 per cent Go Safe-certified as further establishments, managed by participating partners, become part of the certification’s expanded implementation plan.
Since its launch in June 2020, and in collaboration with key authorities, DCT Abu Dhabi has certified 95 per cent of hotels, as well as Yas Marina Circuit, four theme parks on Yas Island, 33 malls across the capital and two cinemas, after conducting rigorous on-site inspections.
Following stringent guidelines based on recommended practices from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Go Safe ensures a safe environment for both residents and visitors. In addition to inspections, regular Covid-19 testing for staff across the tourism and retail sector has been made mandatory.
The first step of the programme is guided self-assessments that establishments undergo as per guidelines and checklists provided by DCT Abu Dhabi, followed by thorough site inspections conducted by dedicated teams to ensure compliance with the highest standards of cleanliness. Those who meet the requirements are awarded the Go Safe certificate, the report said.
"DCT Abu Dhabi’s Go Safe campaign has underpinned Abu Dhabi’s efforts to safely reopen its attractions for domestic and international visitors. As we enter 2021, maintaining these high standards of safety and hygiene remains our top priority for protecting public health while empowering the economic contribution of our partners in the hospitality and entertainment sectors," stated Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.
"ADDED is committed to continuously work with its partners and other relevant entities to enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as among the safest cities in the world, which will, in turn, promote the emirate’s competitiveness and attract more investments, business, and tourism footfall.," said Rabih Al Hajeri, Acting Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre (ADBC) of ADDED.
Essa Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Executive Director of the Infrastructure and Assets Sector at Abu Dhabi City Municipality, said: "As a key partner of the Go Safe initiative, DMT is actively supporting DCT Abu Dhabi and its holistic approach to revive tourism attractions and the retail and hospitality sectors across the emirate. Collectively and confidently, this partnership will ensure the safest and most secure environment for all our residents and visitors."
"To support these efforts, DMT is currently piloting the Go Safe Certification Programme at one of Abu Dhabi’s public parks, with plans for a phased rollout in all public places."
Jassem Busaibe, Chief Investment Officer of Aldar Properties, remarked: "Abu Dhabi’s leadership has made significant strides in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of its residents and visitors during these unprecedented times. A real example of those efforts is from the Go Safe programme, which has provided a useful structure for compliance across many business sectors to promote and ensure public safety."
Alhasan Kaabous Alzaabi, Vice President of Operations at Yas Island Theme Parks and Attractions, commented: "Yas Theme Parks and attractions are some of the UAE’s most popular leisure and entertainment attractions, and as such it was pivotal for us to prioritise achieving the Go Safe certification to give our guests added peace of mind."
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, emphasised: "Etihad is the only airline in the world to ensure 100 percent PCR testing of all guests both before departure and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, which gives complete peace of mind for everyone on board.
"With the introduction of the "Go Safe" Certificate initiative by the Department of Culture and Tourism, the programme will enhance visitors' confidence in travel to the emirate during this unprecedented period."