Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai Opera join increasing list of attractions closed amid coronavirus fears

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai Opera join increasing list of attractions closed amid coronavirus fears
The Ministry of Health and Prevention announced on Thursday 11 new coronavirus cases, bringing total number to 85. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 March 2020

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai Opera join increasing list of attractions closed amid coronavirus fears

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai Opera join increasing list of attractions closed amid coronavirus fears
  • The closures also include Qasr Al-Watan, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and Manarat Al-Saadiyat

DUBAI: The Louvre Abu Dhabi and Dubai Opera are the latest venues to close amid coronavirus fears, as the number of cases around the globe continues to grow.
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism has temporarily closed a selection of main tourist attractions in the emirate from Sunday, starting March 14 to 31, as the country continues to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.
The closures include Qasr Al-Watan, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and Manarat Al-Saadiyat.

The Dubai Department of Economic Development also directed on Sunday all cinemas, theme parks, amusement and electronic game centres, fitness gyms and spring camps licensed in Dubai to halt all their activities and services until end of the month.

Dubai's Global Village also announced the early closure of its 2019-2020 season.
"In line with ongoing efforts to safeguard public health, Global Village has announced the early closure of its 2019-2020 season with immediate effect. Global Village looks forward to welcoming visitors for its next season," the Dubai Media Office said in a tweet.


Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area

Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area
Updated 15 min 25 sec ago

Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area

Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area
  • Moving Israel under the Central Command potentially makes security cooperation with the US on regional matters easier
  • The move could bring Israeli military officials in closer proximity to those of Gulf neighbors

WASHINGTON: The US Defense Department announced Friday that it would include close ally Israel in the area covered by its Middle East-focused Central Command.
In another sign of the rapprochement brokered by President Donald Trump between Israel and Arab countries, the Pentagon said US military dealings with Israel would no longer be handled by its European Command.
“We structure boundaries to best mitigate risk and protect US interests and partners,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East.”
That was mainly a reference to Iran, which the United States, Israel and Arab countries view as the leading security threat to the region.
For decades at odds with its Arab neighbors over its treatment of Palestinians, Israel has over the past year broken barriers on open cooperation and communications with Gulf countries under the Trump-fostered Abraham Accords.
Moving it under the Central Command potentially makes security cooperation with the United States on regional matters easier, and could bring Israeli military officials in closer proximity to those of Gulf neighbors.
But it could also complicate CentCom cooperation with Iran allies like Iraq, where the US retains 2,500 troops.
“Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our US Central Command partners, while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies,” the Pentagon said.