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Our Correspondent

Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (Dubai Economy) announced on April 11 that restaurants in the emirate will not have to screen visible dining areas during Ramadan fasting hours.

Restaurants can serve customers without keeping curtains, dividers or facades as has been mandatory in the past few years. They are also not required to obtain a permit for serving food to customers during fasting hours.

The new circular replaces circulars issued in previous years that required restaurants to block dining areas from the sight of those who are fasting.

The new circular will come into effect from the first day of Ramadan. The moon sighting committee will decide on April 12 the start of the Holy Month.

Food parcels to be distributed in 20 countries

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has launched ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign to provide food parcels for vulnerable families across 20 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia during Ramadan. The countries include Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Angola, Uganda and Egypt.

This is an expansion of last year’s locally held ’10 Million Meals’ campaign that sustained UAE communities affected by COVID-19.

Businessmen, companies and the public inside and outside the UAE are invited to make financial donations to the campaign. A donation as little as AED1 is enough to secure one meal for underserved communities in the targeted countries.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) will coordinate this with the Food Banking Regional Network and local humanitarian organisations in beneficiary countries. The UN World Food Programme, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), and UAE federal and local entities will also collaborate in this effort.

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Companies, businessmen and individuals from all over the world can donate any amount starting from AED1 through the website www.100millionmeals.ae or through a bank transfer to Dubai Islamic Bank account with IBAN no. AE080240001520977815201.

Donations inside the UAE can also be made through SMS (Etisalat and Du) by texting “Meal” to numbers listed on the website depending on the number of meals selected for donation.

The campaign’s call centre will receive big donations via toll free number 8004999.

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Besides joining global efforts to combat hunger, the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign also aims to raise awareness on reducing food wastage and promote responsible food consumption. An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year, which is one-third of all food produced for human consumption, and amounting to $2.6 trillion.

The UAE was named the world’s fifth largest donor to the World Food Programme, with 2019’s contributions amounting to $270 million.

The MBRGI was established in 2015, while the Food Banking Regional Network was established in 2013 at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai. The latter, a non-profit umbrella organization, will provide the necessary logistical support to ensure delivery of food parcels to beneficiary countries.