A call for all UAE residents to cheer from their balconies and homes on Wednesday night

Organisers hope to get crowds cheering for medical workers, cleaners and all of those working on the frontlines of this crisis

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While the streets were quiet as people self isolated, parts of the UAE were actually quite noisy on Saturday, March 21.

Not only was the sky alive with booming thunder, and lightning and rain, but many residents also took to their balconies to clap and cheer in appreciation of the medical staff working to fight the coronavirus around the world.

If you missed your opportunity to join in the applause on Saturday, you have another chance to take part as the Dubai Expat Community Facebook Group seeks to get a second group applause going at 8pm on Wednesday, March 25.

A message of support being ciculated on social media in the UAE. 

“It’s time for all UAE residents to applaud all doctors and medical staff for their tireless efforts in these critical times," a post being shared on social media reads.

[On] Wednesday, March 25 at 8pm, from your balconies or windows. Let’s be united in showing them our support.”

All essential workers deserve support in these times: including the delivery drivers making sure people receive essential items, to people who have been tirelessly cleaning our streets and those working round-the-clock in supermarkets to keep the store shelves stocked (and clean).

One of the organisers of the community-wide round of applause is Lorenza Gazzola, a Dubai resident from the North of Italy. "In North Italy people started showing up spontaneously on their balconies and windows, from their quarantine," she tells us of the trend.

"People in their homes started a flash mob: unplanned, spontaneous applause from their balconies to show support, to send encouragement even when far from hospitals. To send medical professionals a positive wave, and especially to feel united in these struggling times."

She adds that the UAE version, which she hopes will be a pan-emirate effort, may well be a "small and probably insignificant gesture". But she hopes it will "show everyone that we are one as a community, we are in this together and that we can fight it".

Along with Kathryn Jones, the Admin of Dubai Expat Community Facebook Group, Gazzola decided to "repeat the positive wave".

But this time they want it to be even louder, with more participants taking part thanks to the longer lead time.

For Gazzola this particular initiative has a very personal meaning, as she hails from Northern Italy, the worst hit part of the country.

"I have many doctor friends in Italy and I used to receive vocal messages from them at the beginning of the epidemic. I learnt from them their personal struggle, not only as professionals, but especially as human beings.

"I don't personally know any person working in the healthcare system in Dubai, but I know that it could be tough for them, as their job is being on the front line, they cannot work remotely."