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Iftar in Dubai

Volunteering time for a good cause is often as important as donating resources. With that in mind, our group operations manager Graeme Chalmers and his family recently gave up their Saturday to help others.

Graeme is based in Dubai, where he leads our operations in the Middle East. Through his children’s school, he and his wife Lisa heard about an initiative to provide Iftar meals to local labourers staying in one of the city’s large accommodation complexes.

Iftar is the evening meal that Muslims enjoy at sunset at the end of their daily Ramadan fast. It is often eaten as a community, with friends and family gathering to break their fast together. This stems from the belief of many Muslims that feeding someone is a form of charity in itself. Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for Muslims and sees them refrain from consuming food and drinking any liquid from dawn until sunset.


Graeme, Lisa and their two children, Caitlin and Ryan, spent the day on Saturday, 17 June helping to prepare and distribute Iftar meals for around 1,500 labourers. Rolling up their sleeves alongside 50 other volunteers, the family spent the afternoon preparing and packing the meals, which consisted of a hot chicken biryani, a bag of dates, Laban (a buttermilk drink), cheesecake and a bottle of water.

The group then headed to the accommodation complex to begin the process of distributing the meals to the weary workers as they returned from a day’s hard graft. A long and excited queue of people quickly formed, all very grateful to all those who had helped to provide the meals.

Graeme and his family thoroughly enjoyed supporting the initiative and look forward to helping out with similar projects in the future. Not only was it an opportunity for them to give something back to their community, it also allowed them to build new friendships.

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