The UAE is giving, sharing and spreading smiles

The UAE is giving, sharing and spreading smiles
British Orchard Nursery has prepared 300 Lakum box

We are always contributing to goodness. Sometimes, it is through conscious efforts or sometimes it happens effortlessly.



By Disha Dadlani

Published: Thu 14 Jun 2018, 10:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 14 Jun 2018, 1:08 PM

Ramadan is synonymous with the spirit of giving. In the UAE, we're giving, sharing, and caring all year around. Be it a student who carries an extra lunchbox with home-cooked food to share, an online shopper who accepts an additional charge in the form of a donation at check-out or a volunteer who personalises a gift for a less fortunate stranger - the UAE is always spreading smiles and sporting a beaming smile while doing it. People choose to care in different ways - students are stepping into the shoes of their school's cleaners and support staff for a day; cafés and restaurants are donating significant portions of the proceeds from their Iftar buffets towards orphans and underprivileged families; and the efforts of cab drivers and blue-collared workers are being recognised and celebrated across the UAE. In this country, tradition and culture is foremost and kept intact alongside a variety of trends - sometimes, a promo code or a hashtag is what it takes to perform a good deed. The widely popular local initiative, Ramadan Sharing Fridges, started as a one-off charity act in 2016 and has become big in no time. Soon enough, consulting firm Synergis-tics.AE developed an app to track the Ramadan fridges. Those who wish to donate are kept up-to-date on the status of the fridges via social media channels. Recently, 25-year-old beauty entrepreneur Eljammi Gozalli chose to leverage her social media follower base to feed 2,000 workers in industrial areas. Some of the followers joined her in donating food to the workers in a number of ways - some chose to volunteer to distribute meals with her and others chose to donate to the organisation that had partnered to cook and pack the meals. "Don't waste food" - an advice we've all grown up hearing. Food wastage is an issue that the UAE is constantly battling, especially during Ramadan. Iftar brings about togetherness and harmony, but it also raises concerns about surplus amounts of food. To counter this, ride-hailing app Careem and UAE Food Bank introduced a car service that collects excess food or groceries from those who wish to donate. The food is then delivered to 80 of the food bank's community fridges in residential areas and mosques across the UAE. The service is available throughout this month - every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 2 pm to 6 pm. Charitable acts can be performed in more ways than one. What path are you treading? How are you adding value to a life this month?

Schools in UAE are all heart

Scouts and Guides from GEMS Our Own Indian School, Al Quoz have facilitated some resting time for school cleaners for a day and taken charge.
British Orchard Nursery students have pre-pared custom-made Lakum packs for underprivileged children around the globe. The Lakum (For You) initiative aims to bring happiness to children around the world.
The Ramadan Sharing Fridges initiative has been adopted by schools across the UAE. Write to schools@ramadansharingfridges.org and get your school involved as well.

Spread goodness wherever you go

The Daily restaurant at Rove Hotels is giving guests an Iftar meal voucher upon the purchase of an Iftar meal. The guests can then use it or 'pass it on' to a stranger by deposit-ing the voucher in a box at the restaurant. Also, in an attempt to support the local art scene, Rove Hotels has partnered with Mawaheb, a Dubai-based art studio that works with people of determination. Artwork by Mawaheb's artists is being showcased at the hotel during the month, and guests can also opt to share their Iftar vouchers with the artists and their families.
More than 80 kids from the Special Needs Future Development Center and their families enjoyed a lavish Iftar at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. "These events are ways of saying that we care," said Jean-Francois Laurent, general manager.

Unsung heroes: A big 'thank you'

The UAE is celebrating the spirit of Ramadan with the pillars of the region - cab drivers and blue-collared workers. After eight successful editions of its 'Iftar for Cabs' campaign, Marriott International picked one day of this holy month to gift food packs to cab drivers who drove through the main entrance during the Iftar hour. The packs were prepared by catering teams across participating Marriott hotels in the Middle East. Appreciative of the efforts of cabbies in Ras Al Khaimah, RAK Hospital has introduced the Nazar Ayeni (Arabic for 'my eyesight') programme for the prevention of preventable blindness. The hospital is offering free eye screenings to cab drivers and also providing free consultation, if required, post the screening. At the launch of the initiative, hundreds of cab drivers were gifted Iftar packages by the hospital during the annual Iftar distribution. Echoing a similar vibe, Speedex, a tools and hardware superstore, is paying tribute to labourers with the installation of collection boxes that provide UAE labour camps with hygiene items such as toothpastes, toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps, razors, cotton t-shirts and caps. Speedex has joined hands with Emirates Red Crescent for this initiative."Since we're in the tools and hardware business, we know the amount of work that goes into building a city as beautiful as Dubai. So, we decided to give back and support the unsung heroes of the city," said Mustafa Moiz, managing director, Speedex. The initiative has received tremendous support from Safa British School as well. The school has arranged for a donation collection box on its campus to facilitate the programme. "The initiative by Speedex has given children at our school the opportunity to promote good citizenship. Donating hygiene products has given them an opportunity to show their gratitude and that they care," said Carole Ansell, assistant head teacher, Safa British School.

The joy of shopping for a cause

What's better than shopping? Shopping for a cause, of course.
Majid Al Futtaim is supporting Sharjah's annual Ramadan initiative and has teamed up with schools and government organisations for a 'Make a Difference' campaign. The donations will be routed through Emirates Red Crescent.
BurJuman has joined hands with Red Crescent and asked shoppers to donate unused clothes (in good condition) at their donation points.
Noon.com is asking online shoppers to contribute Dh5 to Dh50 during Ramadan towards the Dar Al Ber Scholarships Programme at check-out.

Donate the proceeds from Iftar

You can do your bit for the less fortunate even if you're not physically present at a venue to contribute towards a cause. It's the thought that makes a difference.
The Justmop and Eat apps are doing their bit in a similar manner with a trendy twist. Use the code 'WECARE' while booking from Justmop.com or Eat - 10% of their Ramadan revenues will be donated to underprivileged families and orphans through Al Ihsan Charity.
Café Society, TAMANI Marina Hotel & Hotel Apartment, Dubai is offering extravagant buffets for Iftar and Suhoor. Whether you choose to dine in or simply pay for a meal, the restaurant is donating 10% of the proceeds to the UAE Red Crescent.
disha@khaleejtimes.com

Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort hosted some children of determination and their families for a lavish Iftar meal
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort hosted some children of determination and their families for a lavish Iftar meal
2010The proceeds from any Iftar or Suhoor buffet at Café Society will be donated towards the UAE Red Crescent.
2010The proceeds from any Iftar or Suhoor buffet at Café Society will be donated towards the UAE Red Crescent.
campaignSpeedex and Emirates Red Crescent are providing workers with daily necessities.
campaignSpeedex and Emirates Red Crescent are providing workers with daily necessities.
Marriott International’s Iftar for Cabs initiative has been running successfully since 2010The
Marriott International’s Iftar for Cabs initiative has been running successfully since 2010The
Be a part of the donation drive at Matajer Mall, Sharjah, as part of the ‘Make a Difference’ campaignSpeedex
Be a part of the donation drive at Matajer Mall, Sharjah, as part of the ‘Make a Difference’ campaignSpeedex

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