Saudi Arabians are not celebrating the lifting of COVID-19 lockdown, the video is of Dubai

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Claim: “Alhamdulillah Saudi has announced the end of the lockdown period which means the gate of umrah and hajj would be reopened.”

A video of a street parade has gone viral on social media with the claim that the people are celebrating the end of a coronavirus lockdown in Saudi Arabia.

The video has been shared widely on social media,

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This particular post’s Indonesian-language caption translates to English as: “Alhamdulillah Saudi has announced the end of the lockdown period which means the gate of umrah and hajj would be reopened.”

Alhmdulillah saudi mengumumkan berakhirnya masa lockdown artinya gerbang umroh dan haji akan dibuka kembali 🙏

Posted by Bagusyudhi on Thursday, April 30, 2020

The same footage with a similar claim in the Malaysian language,

Tempoh lockdown di arab saudi telah ditamatkan

Tempoh lockdown di arab saudi telah ditamatkan

Posted by Kg Bohor Baru, Bera on Friday, May 1, 2020

TIK-TOK

@novan_vandi92

arab saudi buka lockdown sdah dnyatakan aman mdah2an saja tidak hoax kita aminin saja..🙏🙏🙏🙏

♬ Ramadan (Aisyah Cover) – Mostafa Atef – Gideon Hadisoewono

 

YOUTUBE

 

Truth

The video was shot Al Ras and Naif areas in Dubai following the ease of the 24-hour quarantine measures after recording zero COVID-19 cases, not Saudi Arabia.

Upon doing a Google Reverse Image Search of the screenshots of the video, and a keyword search, a Youtube video the same as that of the viral video can be found. The video was uploaded on 27th April.

The video’s Arabic title translates to English as: “Dubai celebrating zero corona cases”, while the caption reads: “Celebrating zero corona cases, after opening the Naif area in Dubai.”

The comparison between the viral video, and the Youtube video,

AFP Fact-Check found that the video was shot on 27th Street in Dubai.

Here’s a comparison of screenshots between videos in misleading uploads (left) and Google Street View (right), with similarities in buildings that can be identified circled in red by AFP:

The Dubai Media Office tweeted on April 27, 2020, saying: “Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management eases restrictions on movement in Al Ras and Naif. The Decision comes as both areas record zero COVID-19 cases in the last two days. Restrictions on movement will continue to be in place between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am as with the rest of the emirate.”

Al Ras and Naif are two areas located in the city of Dubai.

 

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A video showing a similar scene was uploaded by Dubai police on Twitter, 

The tweet reads: “Residents in Naif area erupted in celebrations following the ease of the 24-hour quarantine measures after recording zero COVID-19 cases. They commended the UAE efforts to contain the pandemic and provide the highest levels of protection to all community members.

Khaleej Times, a Dubai-based English newspaper, also published a report on the street celebration here on April 27, 2020.

Whereas the Saudi government announced on April 26, 2020, to partially ease nationwide curfews for two weeks, AFP reported.

 

The 24-hour lockdowns, however, remained in some areas that were hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, including in Mecca and quarantined neighborhoods of Medina, Dubai-based news channel Al Arabiya reported.

Since early March 2020, Saudi Arabia has suspended the year-long umrah pilgrimage,

 

and asked people to defer preparations for the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina due to the pandemic.

 

 

Therefore, it is established that the video is of Dubai, not Saudi Arabia. The viral claims, therefore, are false; the video was filmed in Dubai and the footage corresponds with media reports about residents celebrating on the streets after Dubai authorities eased 24-hour quarantine measures in two districts.

 

 

Rhea Binoy

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Rhea Binoy

Writer and a poet, prefers coffee over tea, also a cinephile. Loves fighting for the truth and for the people that come along with it.