Dubai rains: How volunteers worked non-stop to arrange food, flights for stranded at airport

As normalcy resumes at the airport, a few volunteers would continue to be stationed at the airport for a few more days

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 23 Apr 2024, 1:04 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 2:59 PM

When thousands of passengers were stranded at the Dubai airport amid disruption of flights triggered by record-breaking rainfall on April 16, they found comfort among a bunch of volunteers.

For the past five days, as many as 25 individuals from the Iman Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Indian Consulate Dubai and Air India, are providing the much-needed assistance to those stuck at Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport.


Hameed Yasin, general secretary of the Iman Cultural Center, said that soon after they got to know about the situation at Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport, they swung into action.

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“We read in the news about flight cancellations and thousands being stuck at the airport. Travellers did not have basic necessities like food and water,” said Hameed.

“There were people who had come to the airport to exit the country. Many were visitors who had come to Dubai for a short trip. When they reached the airport, they learned that their flights were cancelled. They did not have any accommodation.

And as there are no cafeterias and restaurants near terminal 2, these travellers were in dire need of food," added Hameed.

For the past five days, over 25 volunteers were not only providing food to the passengers but also assisting them in rescheduling their flights.

The volunteers got meals from Annapoorna restaurant, packed vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, fruits, water, wet tissues, and other essentials and stationed himself at the arrival gates and departure gates of the terminal.

Some of them remained there round the clock. “Some have not slept properly for days now,” said Hameed, adding they did not return to their homes and were resting for a few hours at their friend's place.

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As normalcy resumes at the airport, a few volunteers would continue to be stationed at the airport for a few more days to provide aid to passengers. “A few travelers have not returned yet and are waiting for their return. Our support will continue depending on the requirement,” said Hameed.

One of the beneficiaries was Sameed Mulla, a visitor to Dubai, who had his return booked to Mangalore on April 19, which was canceled. “I had called the customer care a few times and they told me there was a possibility for me to board the aircraft. However, it was cancelled and I had to be at the airport for two days,” said Mulla.

“I am so overwhelmed by the aid provided by the community in Dubai. I am a regular traveler to Dubai and the helping nature of UAE is just commendable,” added Sameed.

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