Dubai has turned the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, into a charity donation box to raise money to cater for UAE residents who find it difficult to withstand the economic impact of the pandemic.
The building which is about 828 meters tall has each of its tower’s 1.2 million external lights sold for 10 dirhams ($2.70).
With each donation, the tower ‘filled up’, and people bid to claim the light at the very top.
As the region’s tourism and business hub with the world’s busiest international airport, Dubai’s economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Many people have lost means of livelihood or have had their incomes reduced drastically.
“Hope you have a good solid meal. We take things for granted but life has a way of teaching us how to wake up,” said donor Shereen Harris in a public comment on the campaign’s website.
The UAE has recorded 19,661 cases of infection with COVID-19 and 203 deaths, the second-highest death toll after Saudi Arabia of the six Gulf states.
The donation box has hence raised funds for about 1.2 million meals so far, organising body The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) said.
The fundraising drive is part of a campaign aimed at funding 10 million meals for low-income families during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan by MBRGI.
It is patronised by Dubai’s ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.