Viral video: Pakistani delivery rider earns praise from UAE authority for removing road barrier from busy roundabout

He was surprised when a high-ranking officer approached him, spoke to him politely, and gave him a gift


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Thu 10 Aug 2023, 2:04 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 4:23 PM

When Pakistani delivery rider Waqas Sarwar saw a road barrier lying across a busy roundabout, he pulled over, picked it up, and dragged it to the side. He didn't think much of it — until a video of him went viral.

No less than the UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) took notice of his act of kindness. Mohre on Thursday expressed its appreciation of the Deliveroo rider's "good work" on the microblogging platform X (Twitter).

“We have watched the video in which Mr Waqas Sarwar appeared as he removed barriers from the street to protect drivers, and Khalil Al-Khoury, Undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs, received him, honored him and thanked him for the good step he took. We are proud of Waqqas and everyone who does good work,” the ministry tweeted.

It also shared the video:

The video shows Sarwar picking up a white road barrier that appeared to have been blown by strong winds towards the middle of a busy roundabout. The expat then dragged the barrier to the side.

In Sarwar's conversation with Mohre, he said he never thought someone was filming him.

"I just did what I thought was the right thing," he said. "When I took a left in the roundabout, I saw a block and I decided to stop my bike. I parked my bike (on the side) and then I cleared the road."

He said he just wanted to help prevent accidents. "First, I saved myself. What if, there was another rider behind me who wouldn’t have noticed (the obstruction) — he would have had an accident.”

What he said next was heartwarming: “We are humans, and we are Muslims, so we must care for other people also."

Suddenly famous

Later that day, while waiting for an order at a mall, Sarwar was surprised when a person came up to him and said: "It's you (in the video)."

He didn't know what he meant, until the stranger showed him the clip that had gome viral.

"I had not taken off my helmet, but the man knew from my gait," he said. "That’s when I realised that my video had gone viral. After 48 hours I got to know about it,” added the expat who has been a resident of the UAE for 12 years now.

Expressing his gratitude for being honoured for his good work, Sarwar said that more than the gifts, it was the respect shown by others that meant the most to him.

“Then, a high-ranking officer approached me, spoke to me politely, and gave me a gift. I am very happy. The gift is not important. What is important is the respect that people give you,” he added.

Another Good Samaritan

This is not the first time a delivery rider has been honoured for a commendable deed.

Earlier this month, Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum met with another hero delivery rider, Pakistani expat Abdul Ghafoor.

Ghafoor also went viral after a video showed him removing two concrete blocks from a road.

On his Instagram story, Sheikh Hamdan posted a photo with his arm around Ghafoor, who was seen dressed in a blue and white T-shirt and blue jeans. He wrote: “An honour to meet you Abdul Ghafoor, a true example to be followed.”

Like Sarwar, even Ghafoor had not realized someone had taken a video of him until almost two weeks later. Later, Talabat rewarded his actions by giving him a ticket to fly back home so he could spend time with his two-year-old son.


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