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MENA leisure industry reopens with sharp focus on health, hygiene, safety and social distancing
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 08 - 2020

Whilst some of the leisure attractions across the MENA region remain closed, some have also started to reopen and the region as a whole is ready to welcome guests with safety and social distancing as a key focus in their daily operational procedures. The region has opened its tourism sector after airlines resumed flights to and from safe destinations while hotels have started to receive guests.
Middle East and North Africa Leisure Attractions Council (MENALAC), the leisure and entertainment industry council representing the Middle East's dynamic leisure attractions sector, will host a webinar on Aug. 12, 2020, titled ‘New Norms In A New World', which will be highly focused on the safe reopening and winning back customer confidence across the MENA leisure industry as it reopens.
Silvio Liedtke, vice-president of MENALAC, said, "Although the whole world has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic and many countries are reeling from the crisis, the situation has improved in few parts of the Middle East, thanks to the pro-active safety measures shared by the governments and adopted by the operators.
"The healthy re-opening strategy that has been undertaken by the operators will help the country's leisure attraction facilities to regain customer confidence and encourage them to avail the world-class entertainment facilities."
Five panelists and four guest speakers from the MENA Leisure industry, including HSE Manager of Warner Bros., HSE Director of Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Wild Wadi and Technical Operations Manager of Al Hokair Group will attend and speak at the webinar that specifically focuses on topic, ‘The reopening of our Industry and Associated Safety Regulations'.
As the leisure industry platform, MENALAC wants to promote best practices in the leisure attractions sector by highlighting new norms, innovations, operating techniques, safety standards and regulations through all their events.
Rosa Tahmaseb, secretary general of MENALAC, said, "The leisure attractions industry in the MENA region is upbeat with the gradual and phased reopening of family entertainment centers, amusement parks and theme parks and I am happy to see that our regions operators are ready with the new health, safety and social distancing measures being implemented for both guests and employees alike.
"This is a new experience for all stakeholders, the operators, suppliers as well as visitors — who will have to change the way they used to mingle in these attractions. It is great to see, hear and know that our regions attractions are all doing their utmost to ensure that their teams are sufficiently trained and regularly re-briefed in all the key areas highlighted by the authorities with a big focus on point of entry checks, social distancing, hygiene and cleaning of all areas and that they will be at hand to help the visitors to have a safe and healthy experience.
"All visitors entering these attractions will go through a mandatory health check and social distancing orientation process in order to avail the facilities. In due course, everyone will get used to it. We look forward to healthy and happy families enjoying all their favorite attractions on a regular basis."
Ross Patterson, head of health and safety committee at MENALAC, said, "Our members have taken all necessary precautions and safety measure to ensure safe environment for our guests and teams. They have completely sanitized their leisure attraction sites prior to opening and are continuously implementing strict cleaning and sanitization programs across the park every hour.
"We are confident that with the strong direction and detailed regulations shared by the authorities, our industry across the MENA region is working hard to ensure their attractions are properly sanitized and cleaned frequently, and they have implemented adequate measures to ensure correct social distancing for all their visitors.
"Guests are encouraged to follow personal hygiene and etiquette before, during and after visiting any leisure attraction site. We are making sure that all team members are wearing the correct protective gear such as, face masks and gloves to protect both their guest and themselves, and help to increase the confidence of their customers."
We welcome and encourage anybody who is interested to hear how experts in the MENA Leisure industry are implementing new measures and adapting to the new regulations, to register for the upcoming webinar on Aug. 12 and to send in their questions for the panelists to MENALAC by Aug. 9, 2020. — SG
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