As a non-Muslim who is fasting during Ramadan, Olga Zolotova understands the concept of sacrifice during the holy month.
And that got her thinking about how she could help others who routinely do the same thing. She did not have to look far to find them.
"Labourers come here and detach themselves from their families and home comforts to create all this comfort for us here in Dubai," the Russian said. "They are the people who clean the streets, fill your car with petrol, clean the malls after midnight, build the roads and tidy the gardens.
“I am sure we are all aware of those people – the workers in Dubai. Every time I see them working on the streets, I always want to come and say a personal thank you for doing all this to make this city and my life safe and clean.”
Together with her friend, Mohamad Khalaf, 31, she plans to do exactly that by collecting items that will help provide workers with a few little extras to let others know they are appreciated.
Teaming up with Emirates Red Crescent and Times Square Centre shopping centre, the pair will oversee the collection of personal care items such as shampoos, soaps, towels and deodorants.
"Ramadan is a month of giving back. It is not just about changing your eating habits, having iftars and working fewer hours. It is a time to clear your thoughts and to reflect. And by detaching from common pleasures and comforts we should experience the gratitude for things we take for granted," Ms Zolotova, 28, said.
“We do not ask for much – a soap or shampoo for Dh5 or Dh10 is more than enough. For many of us, this cost is nothing but for those workers it might be a lot and we all know how hygiene items are important, especially in summer time. We invite all citizens and residents of UAE to participate in our initiative and to say one big thank you.”
Ms Zolotova and Mr Khalaf, who are also dedicating a climb in the Alps this July to UAE labourers, also welcome help from volunteers to distribute the items after Ramadan.
Donations can be dropped off in boxes on the ground floor of Times Square Center until June 15.