Ramadan 2021

Ramadan 2021: 86,000 Iftar boxes distributed every day across Dubai

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on April 30, 2021

The number of meals distributed by authorised charity organisations have reached 86,500, while food baskets have totalled 42,560.

Each day, an hour before Iftar prayers ring out, an army of 1,000 volunteers and members of charity organisations fan out across Dubai, distributing over 86,000 meals to the needy. They will be doing it throughout the holy month.

The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (Iacad) in Dubai oversees the distribution of these meals an hour before Iftar, in cooperation with the Community Development Authority (CDA), the Dubai Police, the Dubai Municipality, Dubai’s Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs and the Department of Economic Development (DED), besides the volunteers.

The department also issues permits to public-benefit agencies and social clubs to distribute meals after obtaining approval from the CDA.

Dr Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, director-general of Iacad, said the number of meals distributed by authorised charity organisations have reached 86,500, while food baskets have totalled 42,560. “The distribution takes place daily at 20 main distribution points across the city including Silicon Oasis, Umm Hurair, Al Hamriya, Al Nahda, Hatta, Al Qusais, Al Muhaisnah, Al Quoz, Al Khawaneej and Jebel Ali,” he said.

After a Covid-enforced ban on the public distributing Iftar in Dubai, people are urged to channel food donations through organisations such as Iacad.

Dr Al Shaibani, said: “Community members should channel their food donations through accredited charitable societies and institutions, which have expertise in managing distribution of meals to large groups. They will manage the distribution under the direct supervision of Iacad, in accordance with approved safety standards and practices.”

Al Shaibani added that they are looking to streamline Iftar distribution, while praising 1,000 volunteers from Watani Al Emarat Foundation supporting the initiative.

“The good number of participation of volunteers reflects Emirati values of compassion, generosity, cooperation, and social solidarity,” he said.

Ensuring efficient distribution and crowd management, Al Shaibani said a flexible mechanism was created to allocate responsibilities to all teams to ensure a smooth distribution process.

A video tweeted by the Government of Dubai Media Office shows the massive efforts that go into distributing the meals.

Talking about the roles played by different entities to ensure smooth distribution of Iftar meals, Al Shaibani said: “Dubai’s Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs is identifying labour accommodation complexes for the distribution programme, while the Dubai Police enforce precautionary measures at distribution sites and ensure crowding does not take place. Charities will work in cooperation with Watani Al Emarat Foundation to deliver meals to the supervisors of labour accommodations so that it can then be distributed to beneficiaries. Meals will also be delivered to beneficiaries outside such facilities through the ‘Meals of Hope’ initiative.”


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These prayer timings are for Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. For Abu Dhabi, add four minutes. Deduct four minutes for Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, and six minutes for Fujairah.

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