Fasting delivery riders praise generosity and kindness of Dubai public during Ramadan

Staff also say holy month taking place earlier than recent years has helped to avoid worst of heat

Deliveroo rider Hassan Ahmed Gariba said the roads are also clearer than usual. Pawan Singh / The National
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Delivery riders have praised the compassion and generosity shown to them by Dubai residents during Ramadan.

As Eid Al Fitr approaches, The National spoke to riders in the emirate who have been fasting during the holy month, and they spoke of the kindness they have received from understanding members of the public.

As Ramadan started earlier in the spring, it also meant they are not having to fast in the searing summer heat — something welcomed by riders.

“Customers have been extremely kind and patient with us during Ramadan,” said Muhammad Danveer, 26, from Pakistan who delivers food for Talabat.

“At other times of the year, if we phone them up looking for directions they can demand that we hurry up.

“During Ramadan though, they are telling us to take our time and they are extremely patient.”

It was not uncommon for customers to tell the riders not to worry about the deliveries until they have broken their fasts, he added.

Iftar offerings

Showing patience is not the only way Dubai residents have been supportive to the riders fasting for Ramadan, according to Mr Danveer.

“The majority of people have been very generous this year and often give us food and water, especially if we’re delivering just before or post iftar time,” he said.

Ramadan falling earlier than in previous years has also come as a relief to riders having to deliver food while fasting.

“In previous years it was a lot hotter during Ramadan but now it’s much better,” said Hassan Ahmed Gariba, 24, from Ghana, who works for Deliveroo.

“The days can be very long when you are fasting, it’s even more so in the summer when you have the heat to contend with as well.

“Things feel like they are going a little quicker now that the weather is cooler, it makes it less stressful.”

Ramadan traffic, especially pre-iftar with motorists rushing home to break their fasts, can be notoriously tricky.

Road safety experts offered advice to motorists on how to stay safe during that period, earlier this month.

However, Mr Gariba believes the roads are clearer than usual as many people leave their office earlier in the day.

“There’s a lot less traffic on the roads at that time than if it was any other time of the year,” he said.

“Most people go home earlier in the afternoon for Ramadan, the traffic is much heavier around 4pm than later.

“There are also quite a few people who choose to stay in their office and get their iftar delivered to them there.”

It was not just customers offering support to the riders. Many restaurants also offer them food and vouchers, for when they want to break their fasts.

Mr Gariba's employer, Deliveroo sends a van around different locations each day to distribute iftar meals to riders.

Another rider explained some of the measures he and his colleagues take to ensure they do not suffer too much in the heat while making deliveries.

“It’s usually difficult to work while fasting in Dubai because it’s so hot,” said Toseef Ghaffar, 27, from Pakistan, who delivers food for Kitopi.

“This year, the weather is a bit normal compared to last year, so it is easier.

“We make sure we cover our face when riding the bike, wash our face with cold water and try to spend more time in cold places and rest in the Kitopi kitchens waiting areas.”

Delivery riders in the UAE - in pictures

Updated: April 17, 2023, 8:30 AM