Vendors in Dubai's Dragon Mart 1 and 2 are stocking up warehouses to prevent any impact on their businesses as fears grow that Chinese factories may shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Dragon Mart 1 and 2 are the world's largest Chinese trading hub outside mainland China. Most of the vendors directly import their goods from factories located in various parts of China, while others order from China-based wholesale firms and companies.
Thirteen cities in central China are now on lockdown and major tourist spots have been temporarily shut in the mainland, including Disneyland in Shanghai and Beijing's Forbidden City, according to international media reports.
Motor City in Wuhan - the city where the virus originated - has also been closed, affecting global car manufacturers. The virus has killed 56 people so far and there are 830 confirmed cases.
"We ordered about one week ago and stored products in our warehouse," said a salesman at a furniture shop in Dragon Mart.
"We didn't want to face any problems with shipments, so we made sure our warehouse is fully stocked. We haven't heard anything about factories closing down as yet, but that's a concern. I'm sure there could be delays in production there, so we are trying to be careful. I think, maybe, all business owners here are doing the same just to be safe."
A general trading shop owner echoed the same. "Our warehouse is full and we will be doing okay for the next three to four weeks. We've seen a drop in the number of Chinese customers. It's unusual and could possibly be because of the travel advisories issued to the people in China. Usually, there are a lot of Chinese tourists here who come in groups."
Another salesman at an outdoor furniture shop said: "We're lucky we ordered a new shipment two weeks ago and have a full warehouse in case anything happens."
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