Dubai: Over 150 volunteers - both residents and nationals - have assisted with furnishing and prepping Dubai’s field hospital in Dubai World Trade Centre that houses around 3000 beds. Under the campaign ‘Your City Needs You’ launched by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the volunteers signed up through the ‘Day for Dubai’ application.
Sheikh Hamdan said, “All of us today are racing against time in order for the UAE to always remain greater than all challenges in the process of addressing the current crisis experienced by various countries of the world resulting from the spread of the coronavirus.”
Watani Al Emarat Foundation played a role in contributing to the volunteer work by immediately providing the field hospital with 30 volunteers who had a prominent role since the establishment of the hospital by installing the beds in the allocated spaces and preparing the medical equipment alongside the medical technical staff. They also assisted in the logistical aspect, such as receiving materials, preparing and installing furniture according to the requirements of the officials at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Dharar Balhoul Al Falasi, member of the Federal National Council and Executive Director of the Watani Al Emarat Foundation, emphasised the importance of national participation by volunteering and playing a role in combating the spread of COVID-19.
“Watani Al Emarat is always increasing its efforts to support all the needs and requirements from all sectors of the country. The foundation is ready to provide its voluntary and media expertise in order to combat the spread of corona virus,” said Al Falasi. “Prospective volunteers can apply through Day for Dubai application to be part of ‘Your City Needs You’ initiative. Volunteers remain on standby for any emergency or tasks assigned to them in any of the sites that require volunteering and effective contribution.”
Al Falasi also notes that the volunteers have been trained by Watani Al Emarat Foundation following a specified training plan set in place according to each volunteer’s own expertise and specialisations to ensure that the volunteering program proceeds with professionalism to produce tangible positive results.
Volunteers in other areas
Watani Al Emarat Foundation also oversees many different volunteering areas. Haska Choori is an Indian national and a member of Dubai Kerala Muslim Cultural Center, “I started volunteering in Naif on March 19th, I’m the team head for food distribution. Social service is in my blood and with the help of Watani Al Emarat we’re assisting many communities.”
The Dubai-based salesman has been in the UAE for 11 years and has taken unpaid leave to volunteer, “Whenever I get a chance, I want to be part of humanitarian acts. We’re providing over 42 thousand food parcels daily. I want to appreciate Dubai Police, who work with us hand and make us feel like one team.”
Thalha Abdalla, another volunteer says, “We’re doing our part and giving back to the community. When we started volunteering, we were approached by Watani Al Emarat, DHA, and Day for Dubai. They said, you are one of us. We all became one team. Some of our volunteers were working in field hospital in Dubai World Trade Center and other areas around Dubai.”
Abdalla, a manager of a mobile store, discusses the many aspects to his volunteering tasks, “Since this crisis, the number of calls I receive are more than all the years I’ve been in Dubai, since 2002. I am not a counselor, but people call me with concerns and worry about the situation. I speak to them in our common language and I reassure them. Field work is one aspect, working with people is another thing entirely. Sometimes I help escort patients with DHA, I talk to them and comfort them. We also have a call center for people who are concerned about visa issues, we explain it to them and reassure them. I haven’t had much time to talk to my family these days, but those people I help, they’ve become my family.”
He adds, “In my heart I feel like a local person in Dubai, I feel one with the community, with the police and the authorities. They are always there for us, giving great support and I appreciate that a lot.”
Mohammed Suhail, another volunteer under Watani Al Emarat and a real estate agent in Dubai says, “I’ve been in the UAE for six years and this is my chance to give back. We have great support from Dubai Police and I want to assist people and reassure them in this difficult time.”
Should you wish to volunteer download the ‘Day for Dubai’ App.