DUBAI: In a city where people claim not to know their neighbours well, Dubai residents have come out in hordes to help those affected by the recent Tamweel tower fire in Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT).
Within an hour after the fire erupted at about 1.30am, social networking sites were frantically buzzing with enquiries about the blaze.
Around 8am a resident from the neighbouring Al Seef Tower 2 created an online forum called Tamweel Tower Cluster U. “Let’s gather our effort in helping the Tamweel Tower,” her first post read. Within an hour, she had 110 members.
“I have two small children aged two years and seven months. When we were evacuated in the wee hours of the morning, I had nothing with me. No warm wear, diapers, milk or food. We left with just our pyjamas on. It was cold outside and I realised how important it was for the fire victims to have some basic supplies,” she said.
It didn’t take long before Dubai residents were collecting rugs, toys, diapers, clothes, food packets, flashlights, etc and depositing them at collection points in JLT.
By 9.30am on Sunday, a massive collection drive had taken off across Dubai at various points – Bur Dubai, Dubai Marina, Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Deira, Motor City, Palm Jumeirah, Meadows, Jumeirah, Umm Suqueim.
Ladies and ‘mums’ of various communities started collecting medicines, small eatables and dropping them off at Almas Tower. Two women took the initiative of organising packed meals for displaced families. “We began with light snacks on Sunday but by Monday morning we had started distributing packed meals – breakfast lunch and dinner,” said one lady, who didn’t want to be named.
Other women brought chairs and placed them out below the tower for tired residents.
Meanwhile, JLT residents are also considering an ‘Adopt a Family’ scheme to take up individual families and sponsor their needs. “We would like to target one family a time,” a resident told XPRESS.
“I stay next to Bonnington. If anyone needs help, please let me know,” said a resident in an online post.
“Victims of the fire - in case this is of help to anyone who’s gone roofless, my place is always open (Discovery Gardens),” was another heart-warming post from a Dubai resident.
The compassionate gestures have touched the hearts of Tamweel residents. One displaced resident said: “I would like to thank all the people involved with the stand below Tamweel tower. You ladies were brilliant and provided the residents with things we didn’t know we needed! Water, food, tea, chairs, flashlights (to go see our apartments in the dark). Someone even lent me sneakers to climb up wet stairs!”
Sanjay Thawani of SNS Property Management Solutions and OA Manager for Tamweel Tower said: “Community spirit has been fantastic in JLT in the last couple of days. The ladies and mothers have thought about small things for the victims. This is much appreciated.”