UAE: 1.2 million free Ramadan meals to be home delivered as tents banned

Abu Dhabi - With Ramadan tents banned as a Covid safety measure, Iftar meals will be distributed at 112 locations around the UAE.

Illustrative image from
Illustrative image from

By Web Report

Published: Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:34 PM

Ramadan tents will be replaced by the distribution of Ramadan meals this year and the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will distribute free Iftar meals to 1.2 million UAE residents.

UAE Ramadan 2021: Taraweeh prayers to resume; Covid rules announced

The ERC will expand Iftar meal distribution to cover 571,312 people in other disadvantaged countries as well.

In a press conference held Sunday via video conference, the ERC announced the launch of its Holy Month of Ramadan campaign, under the theme, “Be the Change,” which aims to provide support and assistance to target segments both inside and outside the country.

The organisation has expanded the scope of its Ramadan programmes this year to help counter the health, economic and social repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the ERC, said the regular Ramadan tents that were always held nationwide, will be replaced with home-delivered meals at 112 locations around the UAE.

“Food parcels are to be home delivered to 600,000 workers and 81,600 vulnerable families and elderly people, along with 140,000 frontline medical workers, and thousands of families and foreign communities affected by the pandemic.”

He added that 150,000 people will benefit from Ramadan meals distributed in 26 locations in Abu Dhabi, 20 locations in Al Dhafra, 19 locations in Al Ain, 47 locations in the Northern Emirates while 14,666 people will benefit from the distribution of Eid clothes.

Fahad Abdulrahman bin Sultan, Deputy Secretary-General for Development and International Cooperation, said 406,625 people in many countries will benefit from the ERC’s Ramadan Iftar programmes.

“These include 146,602 people to be supported from the ERC Zakat Al Fitr programmes, and 18,085 people who are to benefit from the ERC Eid clothes programmes.”

Al Falahi said, the scope of the ERC Ramadan programmes this year, as directed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of, has been enlarged to counter the health, economic and social repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ERC’s Ramadan programmes are more comprehensive and widespread this year, in line with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Sheikh Asadullah Dil Muhamad, an Imam here in Ajman, said they used to serve meals in groups to people close to the mosque. “All Iftar meal tenets have been suspended because of Covid-19 pandemic. However, Iftar meals are still offered for free to poor workers at their accommodation and labour camps.”

Sheikh Yasser Muhamad, an Imam here in Ras Al Khaimah, said Iftar meals are no longer held because of the Coronavirus. “Iftar meals are now individually distributed, mainly by charity associations, at labour camps and at are also delivered at poor families’ homes.”

Mohamed Suhail Al Muhairi, CEO, Dar Al Ber, said they are geared up to contribute Dh111 million over the seasonal Ramadan campaign locally and globally this year. “These include Dh50 from the mandatory Zakat, and Dh61 million from optional alms and charity.”

Al Muhairi added that they are to spend Dh3 million as Iftar meals this Ramadan. “Thousands of nutritious meals are to be contributed to hundreds of thousands of poor workers at their labour camps nationwide and abroad.”

Zakat, worth Dh1.3 million, are to be distributed to a list of eligible families whose cases have been thoroughly studied by the Society staff social workers, he revealed. “Eid clothes, worth Dh811,579, will be contributed to thousands of local and global orphans and children of indigent families.”

Dar Al Ber has so far spent Dh48 million for reducing the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid019) global pandemic, Al Muhairi stated. “Thousands of people, hit by the pandemic, have been supported by the Society,” he said, urging philanthropists to chip in the seasonal campaign.

Abdeen Taher Al Awadhi, Director General of Beit Al Khair Society, said despite the crisis, Beit Al Khair managed to execute an outstanding Ramadan campaign last year during which they spent Dh92.1 million out of Dh100.4 million it spent to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on affected people.

“Beit Al Khair hopes to collect more donations during this campaign to assist over 55,000 registered families and cases who are eagerly anticipating relief.”

Al Awadhi said all the Ramadan projects will be implemented as usual. “We will be disbursing the Ramadan Mir to the beneficiaries directly through partner malls and facilities across the country.”

“Eligible people will be able to get their Ramadan needs as per the amounts specified for each and every family and case, and based do their financial situation and number of family members.”

The Iftar meal project will be resumed, he revealed. “Whereas Iftar tents have been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nutritious meals will be delivered to eligible people at their accommodation, yet with full attention to health and safety protocols.”

Figures show that Beit Al Khair distributed more than 2.6 million Iftar and Suhour meals last Ramadan, he said. “These are part of 3.2 million meals distributed in less than four months at 80 compounds and labour camps in the emirates of Dubai, Fujairah, Ajman. Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain.”

The Society has a competent field team trained to carry out charitable campaigns, Al Awadhi underlined. “This team managed to set a new world Guinness record by distributing 8,997 meals in 2.52 hours to poor workers,” he said. “We hope the team will fulfil their duties as perfect as expected, while adhering to the precautionary measures and relevant government instructions.”

More news from coronavirus