Dubai donation drive for earthquake survivors extended due to 'overwhelming response'

Hundreds of boxes are filled with cold-weather clothing and essentials ahead of cargo flights

Inside Dubai warehouse where aid is collected for Turkey earthquake survivors

Inside Dubai warehouse where aid is collected for Turkey earthquake survivors
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Follow the latest on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

A donation drive organised by Turkey's consulate in Dubai to support survivors of the deadly earthquake in the country has been extended due to the "overwhelming response" of the public.

People flocked to a collection point in Al Quoz on Tuesday and Wednesday to deliver essential supplies, including food, warm clothing and bedding.

The charitable effort will now continue until 8pm on Thursday in response to the huge outpouring of generosity.

Organisers expressed their thanks to all who have provided crucial assistance to those in need.

A similar collection has been held at the Turkish embassy in Abu Dhabi this week.

Volunteers are working round the clock to pack the goods and prepare them for shipment to Turkey.

Two powerful earthquakes that hit the country were followed by dozens of aftershocks. At least 15,000 people have been killed and the death toll is expected to rise amid harsh winter conditions.

Honestly, we feel helpless. I feel like I should be there helping out
Aysegul Ocak, Turkish expat originally from Istanbul

“Honestly, we feel helpless,” said Aysegul Ocak, who is originally from Istanbul and had donated blankets and baby food at Homeward Bound in Al Quoz, Dubai.

Another collection point is open at the Turkish embassy in Abu Dhabi's diplomatic quarter.

The collection was organised by the Turkish Consulate, the Turkish Business Council, Turkish Airlines and Emirates Red Crescent, an official government charity.

Together they have appealed for items such as winter clothes, bedding, tinned food and tents to be brought to the drop-off points with the only requirement being that goods are new.


How to help

The consulate has advised that people can donate items until 8pm on Thursday.

For more information, people can contact the campaign hotline on 058 584 7876. People in Abu Dhabi are asked to contact Turkey's embassy in the capital on 050 869 9389.


“We have a lot of friends in that area and it is very, very sad,” said Ziwar Majid, a Syrian-Russian, who was on Wednesday donating goods.

“There are a lot of people still under the rubble. They are in desperate need for help.”

By midday at Al Quoz, an endless line of cars and lorries stretched back from the entrance to the depot.

Bags and bags of blankets, tinned fish, lentils, shampoo and even gas stoves were being delivered by an ever-increasing number of people and being packed on to crates by teams of volunteers before being shipped to Turkey.

Ilker Kilic, Turkish Consul General in Dubai, said 38 crates were filled with supplies on Tuesday but the teams were on course to at least triple that on Wednesday.

“There is strong solidarity in our community,” said Mr Kilic, who was overseeing the operation in Dubai.

“People feel helpless as they are not able to help the efforts there so at least this is an outlet to express that emotion. It is very heartwarming.”

It was a similar situation at the Turkish embassy drop-off point in Abu Dhabi. It was not only people from Turkey donating, but from places including Palestine and Germany.

"After watching the scale of death and destruction in Turkey and Syria, I feel all of us who can afford it have an obligation to help,” said Handell Terrado, who is from the Philippines and was dropping off supplies.

“The Philippines has endured tsunamis and earthquakes. We know what it is like. We have always donated whenever there is a disaster in any part of the world. We are all humans first."

Hanan Abed, a Palestinian-American living in Abu Dhabi, said she sprang into action when she heard of the appeal.

“I asked a few colleagues and we pulled in some money this morning," said Ms Abed, who has previously volunteered for the Red Cross in the US.

"I went shopping and got winter clothing for women and children.”

Emma Williams, who moved to Abu Dhabi from Australia 18 months ago, said she was heartbroken to see small children trapped under the rubble.

“Being a mother myself, I cannot imagine what those kids would be going through," she said.

"I was working as a nurse in Australia and my first instinct was to jump on a plane and get there. But I want to do something at least by donating diapers and hygiene products for women.”

Fatma Emrem, president of the Turkish Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “The response has been huge and not only from the Turkish community.

"People from all over the UAE and of all nationalities have responded to the call.”

What items are needed?

Winter clothing — for adults and children

Coats, jackets, boots, sweaters, trousers, gloves, scarves, berets, knitted caps and woollen hats, socks and underwear.


Canned food, durable and non-perishable food, items with a long shelf life and food for children.

Cleaning and hygienic supplies

Nappies, personal care products, women's hygiene products and cleaning materials.

Other goods

Tents, beds, mattresses (for use in a tent), blankets, sleeping bags, catalytic gas stoves, heaters (excluding gas cylinders), thermos mugs, torches (without batteries) and generators.

Updated: February 09, 2023, 7:52 AM