With just a few days until Ramadan begins, the Dubai Ramadan Sharing fridges map is now available on Google maps.
A simple but very effective act of kindness during Ramadan, volunteers stock fridges in public places, that community workers can then visit to find food and drink to break their fast with, come iftar.
A map listing all of the registered fridges in the volunteer-led initiative is now live, making it easy for anyone to get involved by donating food to one of the temporary units during the holy month.
With the purpose of providing free food and drink to workers throughout Dubai's communities, the Ramadan Sharing Fridges project will begin on the first day of Ramadan. In line with previous years, licensing restrictions do not allow the group to open the fridges any earlier than the first day of the holy month. They remain open until after Eid.
The fridges are located in public places and are "open to our community workers such as labourers, gardeners, construction workers etc who benefit from the generosity of the community," organiser, Anne Mulcahy told The National.
How to find a fridge
There are around 150 fridges spread across the city from Jebel Ali all the way to Al Mizhar on the Sharjah border.
Fridges in each area are identified on the map by a coloured place marker, with each area having its own colour so that it is easier to locate one in the neighbourhood you are looking for.
Clicking on the markers will open an information box that lists more details about each fridge including the fridge ‘name’, the physical address and the contact details of the manager. Operating hours are also listed as some fridges are open all day but others have restricted timings.
Most fridges are located in communities, but some are also inside hotels, businesses or schools. These include the Steigenberger Hotel, Media One Hotel, Light House Arabia, Dubai English Speaking School and The Farm at Al Barari.
How to get involved
Members of the community are encouraged to add a few extra items to their grocery shopping throughout the month of Ramadan and then deliver the goods to the nearest fridge. All types of dry food including fruit, vegetables, canned goods and drinks are welcome but no hot or cooked items can be accepted. Donations of leftovers are not encouraged.
There's also still a few days left to volunteer to manage a fridge in your area, with registration open until May 5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to take responsibility for a fridge near you.
The holy month is expected to begin on May 6.
How did it begin?
The project began when Fikra Yel and her family placed a spare fridge in front of their property and place food inside for the less fortunate. In 2016, Yel moved community and donated her sharing fridge to Sumayyah Sayed who then opened a Facebook group to help filling the fridge. By the end of Ramadan 2016, the initiative grew to 170 fridges. To date, the Facebook group has almost 30,000 members, ahead of Ramadan 2019 there are almost 200 fridges will be ready to open across Dubai.
Each year it has grown and grown, with more people keen to take part in the Emirates Red Crescent-backed effort.
Of the growth of the project, Mulcahy told The National, "It is now the fourth year and what started as a grass root initiative has gained such a momentum in Dubai, it is amazing to witness the generosity and the community spirit around the Ramadan Fridges Initiative."