Free Suhoor for 32,000 workers in UAE during Ramadan

This year, the initiative aims to distribute 32,000 meals to labourers across Dubai and Umm Al Quwain.- Alamy Image
This year, the initiative aims to distribute 32,000 meals to labourers across Dubai and Umm Al Quwain.- Alamy Image

Dubai - Weighing 1.1kg, each meal pack will contain the essentials for those observing fast throughout the month.

By Kelly Clarke

Published: Tue 8 May 2018, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 8 May 2018, 8:45 PM

With the Holy Month of Ramadan less than two weeks away, the Community Development Authority (CDA) Youth Council is putting the final touches on the second edition of the 'Their Suhoor On Us' initiative.
This year, the initiative aims to distribute 32,000 meals to labourers across Dubai and Umm Al Quwain.
Weighing 1.1kg, each meal pack will contain the essentials for those observing fast throughout the month, with some extras thrown in for good measure.
"We want to make sure the meal is a complete one so it will have a main course, a sweet, fruits, dates, laban and water. These are all foods which help open a fast. We will also bring something extra that the people will like such as Karak tea, popcorn," Ahmed Julfar, director-general of the CDA, told Khaleej Times.
Last year, 700 council members and volunteers distributed more than 53,000 Suhoor meals to labourers across Dubai and Abu Dhabi after Taraweeh prayer throughout the holy month. The initial target was 20,000 meals.
Though the conservative aim for this year's meal distribution is 32,000, the council will likely surpass its 2017 figure as it has added seven additional distribution sites to the initiative as well as more than 300 additional volunteers.
Meals will be distributed every night throughout Ramadan from 10:00pm to about 11.30pm at Abdulrahim Ktait Mosque in Al Quoz. Meals will also be distributed during different periods throughout the month at six other mosques located throughout Deira and Bur Dubai.
Additionally, the Maeed Bin Said Al Mualla Charity Foundation will also distribute meals at two mosques in Umm Al Quwain.
So why Suhoor meals and not Iftar? Julfar said this idea was born from the Youth Council.
"They chose Suhoor because there are so many initiatives focused on Iftar and not many are centred around Suhoor, but it's a very important meal. We wanted to fill that gap."
Though all 1,000 volunteers are currently registered for the initiative, Julfar said volunteers wishing to offer a helping hand can register through the CDA's Volunteer mobile application to take part, as well as through the Day for Dubai initiative which was launched by The Executive Council.
"Last year we saw more than 700 volunteers help out but this year we are hoping to double that, including great participation from people with determination."
On the sidelines of the tour, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) Youth Council will provide free medical checkups for labourers.

Drones to deliver 3,200 Suhoor meals

Three people of determination will help deliver more than 3,000 meals to labourers using drones, as part of the Community Development Authority's (CDA) 'Their Suhoor On Us' Ramadan initiative.
With a target to distribute 32,000 meals throughout the holy month in Dubai and Umm Al Quwain, Halema Mohammed, head of CDA's Youth Council, told Khaleej Times it aims to have at least "10 per cent of the 32,000 meals delivered by drones". That means the three volunteers will be helping distribute about 3,200 meals to labourers.
Khalfan Obaid, technical consultant at Dronetek, said the chosen volunteers will be in charge of helping "pilot and navigate the drone" during the meal distribution phase of the CDA's volunteer initiative.
"This idea was thought up by the Youth Council. They wanted to bring a drone in to help with food delivery and they wanted the people of determination to operate it," he said.
With one drone able to carry up to 10 food packages (about 10kg), the drone will be able to fly for 30 minute periods, several times a day.
"It will have pre-determined weight points and navigation points and we will train our pilots to help fly and navigate the drone to the right drop off points."
To execute the activity well, Obaid said the three volunteers will have to "maintain visual line of sight, announce when the drone has taken off and landed, and make sure it is on the right route".
"They will be doing this from the control room and will have contact with the volunteers at the distribution site who are receiving the packages. Once the meals have been offloaded, the volunteer in the control room will then monitor the drone as it flies back to its original site."
All three people of determination will be trained by the Sanad Academy in Dubai, with the training commencing next week.

'Their Suhoor On Us' objectives

>32,000 initial target for meal distribution
>1,000 volunteers
>7 new locations for 2018
>2017 Initiative Outcomes
>20,000 initial target for meal distribution
>53,945 final number of meals distributed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
>36,045 main meals; 17,900 sub-meals
>700 council members and volunteers

2018 Distribution Sites

>Abdulrahim Ketait Mosque, Al Quoz (Day 1 to Day 28)
>Qurtoba Mosque, Satwa (Day 3 to Day 8)
>Sheikha Latifa Small Mosque, Jafiliya (Day 7 to Day 12)
>AlYaqoub Mosque, Ras Al Khor Indistrial Area (Day 11 to Day 15)
>Aqeel Abbas Mosque, Warsan 1 (Day 15 to Day 20)
>Bin Fulad Mosque, Rashidiya (Day 19 to Day 24)
>Abdulrahim Ketait Mosque, Muhaisnah (Day 23 to Day 28)
 (Note: Distribution between 10pm-11.30pm)  

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