Struggling in COVID-19 | Where to Find Help

Note: This page will continually be updated with the most recent and current information.

The current global pandemic due to Coronavirus COVID-19 has meant that many people have lost their jobs, are unsalaried, are struggling for food, and have little or no access to proper medical protection, supplies and treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling because of COVID-19, the following sections point out charities, organizations, medical camps, food drives, and restaurants in the UAE where you can find help. Scroll down to know more:

Special Ramadan Initiatives

Government COVID-19 Aid & Initiatives

Free Food Drives & Programmes

Free COVID-19 Clinics and Medical Supplies

Owners of Pets

If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety and stress, feeling unwell, or showing symptoms like coughing, high fever and breathing difficulties, please look up COVID-19 Hotlines for free medical consultations, psychological support and live forums. For emergencies, please dial 998 for Ambulance Services.

SPECIAL RAMADAN INITIATIVES

10 Million Meals | YallaGive

  • UAE’s biggest food distribution drive, to provide food parcels and meals for low-income and vulnerable families and individuals affected by COVID-19
  • The campaign coincides with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan
  • Organized by The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with the Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19
  • How to Request for Food:
    • Call 800 4999
    • Provide details:
      • Emirates ID
      • Name
      • Home Address (the food will be delivered)

Together We Are Good

  • ‘Together We Are Good’ is an initiative by Ma’an, Authority of Social Contribution in Abu Dhabi
  • Living expenses of residents in Abu Dhabi impacted by COVID-19 will be taken care of:
    • Education
    • Healthcare
    • Food
    • Basic Needs
  • How to Request for Food (Abu Dhabi residents):
    • Call 800 3088
    • Provide details:
      • Emirates ID
      • Name & DOB
      • Details of Situation such as loss of employment, salary cut or unpaid leave. You may have to provide documents as proof.
      • Information of Household such as family members, number of children, monthly income & expenditure, etc.
      • Any specific dietary needs, allergies or health conditions
      • Home Address (the food will be delivered)

Ramadan Mir Initiative | Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation

  • 4.5 million Iftar meals will be distributed during the holy month of Ramadan
  • Target population includes workers in industrial areas in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra
  • The Ramadan Mir Initiative has already benefitted 46,000 families around the UAE since its inception in 2019

Ramadan Boxes | Etihad Airways

  • 1,000 Ramadan boxes will be delivered by Etihad Airways each day and everyday of the holy month of Ramadan
  • Prepared by Etihad’s world-class inflight chefs
  • The Ramadan boxes contain either ready-to-cook ingredients or ready-to-eat meals
  • You can choose between non-vegetarian or vegetarian menus:
    • Dishes include grilled chicken, dal and paneer saagwala
    • All meals are served with dates for breaking fast, water, cake and yoghurt
  • Target population includes:
    • Doctors
    • Nurses
    • Frontline and Essential Workers
    • Individuals who have lost jobs
    • Individuals who are struggling financially
    • Individuals unable to reach a grocery store because of health issues
  • You can order the Ramadan Box on Zomato:
    • Opening Hours: 4pm to 7pm
    • Select: Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian
    • Enter code: ETIHAD
    • Free meal will be sent to your home address

GOVERNMENT COVID-19 AID & INITIATIVES

Entry Application for Residents Stuck Outside the UAE

  • Register for the service on the ICA’s website titled ‘OTHER SERVICES – RESIDENTS OUTSIDE UAE – ENTRY PERMISSION
  • Initiative by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (MOFAIC) and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA)
  • Valid UAE residency visa-holders are eligible to apply to return starting June 1st, provided they meet specific criteria
    • Note: All residency visas are valid till the end of this year
  • There are no fees for this application
  • You will need the following details:
    • Emirates ID
    • Passport Number
    • Nationality
    • Date of Birth
    • Mobile Number
    • Note: The entry for your name in Arabic will be filled automatically if the earlier information is correct
    • Upload scanned copies of:
      • UAE Residence Visa
      • Passport
      • Passport-Sized Colored Photograph
      • Proof of Visit Outside UAE:
        • Medical Organization
        • Work Organization
        • Educational Instituition
        • If purpose was Tourism, you can provide flight tickets, hotel bookings, tour tickets, etc.
  • You will receive a draft number:
    • If your application gets stuck due to a technical error, use this draft number to refresh the application
  • Once the application is reviewed and submitted, you will get a confirmation email with a tracking number
  • Do not book any travel tickets until your application has been approved and you have received an approval number
    • Two of the UAE’s main carriers have started operating inbound flights for stranded UAE residents
  • If you want to contact the ICA:
    • Number: +971600522222

Registration for Repatriation | Vande Bharat Mission of India

  • Registration portal launched on April 29 by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai
  • Part of the Vande Bharat Mission by the Ministry of External Affairs of India
  • Indian citizens in the UAE who have been affected by COVID-19 can apply for repatriation:
    • Loss of Employment
    • Medical Emergencies (self or family)
    • Pregnancy
    • Death of Family Member
    • Stranded Students/Tourists/Visitors
    • Expiry of Visa
    • Deportation
    • Other
  • You will need the following details:
    • Passport Number
    • UAE Visa Status
    • Mobile number in UAE & India
    • Home Address in India
    • Indian Airport closest to your home address
    • If you have undergone a COVID-19 test and what the results were
    • Reason for Repatriation Application
  • If you need assistance, there are hotlines dedicated to helping Indian citizens through the COVID-19 crisis

UAE Virtual Labour Market

  • Initiative by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE)
  • Designed to support expat workers in the UAE who lost their jobs because of COVID-19
  • According to Ministerial Decree Number 279 – 2020, Article 3:
    • Companies affected by COVID-19 must register their redundant employees on the Virtual Labour Market
    • This way they can be recruited by other companies
  • Also refer to:

You Are Among Your Families Initiative

  • The initiative is by Emirates Red Crescent (ERC)
  • ERC will sponsor the families of COVID-19 deceased in the UAE. The process includes:
    • Identifying the victims and deceased
    • Communicating with the family
    • Understanding the educational level, medical requirements, living standards and socio-economic conditions of the family
  • The initiative is open to all nationalities, both local and expat

FREE FOOD DRIVES & PROGRAMMES

My Govinda’s

  • Location: Indian restaurant in Karama, near BurJuman metro station
  • Free food all day
  • Meals consist of rice, lentils and a vegetable curry
  • Delivers to Karama, BurJuman, Satwa, Bur Dubai and Mankhool
  • Contact: 04 3960088

Des Pardes

  • Location: Pakistani restaurant in Oud Metha
  • Delivers to Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain
  • Serves 400 free meals everyday
  • For those wishing to donate:
    • AED 4.95 for vegetarian meal of dal, bread, laban and water
    • AED 7 for non-vegetarian meal of chicken biryani, bread, laban and water.
  • Contact:
    • Mobile: 052 9102444
    • Landline: 04 3795702

Student Biryani

  • Location: Pakistani restaurant in:
    • Dubai: Karama, Al Barsha and Al Nahda 2
    • Sharjah: Al Nahda
    • Abu Dhabi: Hamdan Bin Mohammed St, Markaziya
  • 20-30 meals from each branch
  • Karama branch:
    • Mobile: 054 9951052
    • Landline: 04 3369992
  • Al Barsha branch:
    • Mobile: 054 9951053
    • Landline: 04 4529989
  • Al Nahda 2 branch:
    • Mobile: 054 9951054
    • Landline: 04 2578773 / 04 2578774
  • Sharjah branch:
    • Mobile: 054 5516665
    • Landline: 06 5316665
  • Abu Dhabi branch:
    • Mobile: 054 9908494
    • Landline: 02 6317333

Bhaijaans Biryani

Hazara Group

  • Location: Four Pakistani restaurants in Dubai’s International City
    • Mawwal
      • Mobile: 050 159 6599
      • Landline: 04 589 8473
    • Dolphina
      • Mobile: 050 443 0136
      • Mobile: 055 448 3275
    • Hazara Darbar
      • Mobile: 052 213 0113
      • Mobile: 058 820 2047
      • Landline: 04 564 6006
    • Al Fareej Kitchen
      • Mobile: 050 130 2034
      • Mobile: 050 947 0272
  • Target Areas:
    • International City Phase 1 and 2
    • Dubai Silicon Oasis
    • Queue Point Liwan
    • Ras Al Khor
  • Target Population:
    • People who have lost their jobs
    • People who have jobs but no salaries
    • People stranded in the UAE due to travel restrictions

Al Breem Restaurant and infinEAT Seafood & Steak

  • Location: Filipino restaurant in Mourouj, Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi
  • 100-150 free meals everyday
  • Target Population:
    • People who have lost their jobs
    • People who have jobs but no salaries
    • People stranded in the UAE due to travel restrictions
  • You can also donate dry items (hot dogs, eggs, rice) and/or volunteer. They need more volunteering drivers.
  • Contact:
    • +971 2 304 4555
    • +971 50 126 5606
    • +971 52 551 7366 (whatsapp)

Dinesh Khiara

“If you are concerned about you or your child not being able to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner feel free to PM (private msg) me with no fear, guilt or shame.”

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)

  • Initiative to deliver free organic food to at least 1000 needy families in Sharjah
  • Launched in association with the Sharjah Charity International and VeggiTech, a vegetation technology start-up in Sharjah
  • 300 kilograms of locally grown produce from VeggiTech’s light assisted hydroponics farm will be packed in eco-friendly, compostable packing
  • The free delivery initiative will take place during the period of restriction on night-time movement

FREE COVID-19 CLINICS & MEDICAL SUPPLIES

Aster Pharmacy

  • Visitors stuck in the UAE with no local health insurance can get their medicines at Aster Pharmacy:
  • Visitors need the following documents:
    • Proof of Identity
    • Visit Visa
    • Prescription from a licensed medical practitioner:
      • If prescription is from outside the UAE, alternative medicines will be provided
      • Exceptions can be made for those suffering from a chronic condition, where a refill can be purchased by showing old prescriptions or packaging
      • Children under the age of 16 cannot be given medication without a prescription
  • All medicines will be offered at cost price

Free COVID-19 Clinics | Abu Dhabi Industrial Area

  • Funded by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development
  • Abu Dhabi Police have started awareness drives with vans driving through industrial areas providing information about the free COVID-19 clinics
  • The COVID-19 Clinics offer:
    • Free coronavirus tests and treatment to low-income workers
    • This also includes workers who do not have a valid residence visa
    • Workers can call 8001717 for medical assistance
    • Priority is for:
      • Workers aged 50 and above
      • Workers having symptoms like cough, high fever and breathing difficulties
    • Two of the many free clinics are held on 9th and 12th streets of Mussafah
  • Abu Dhabi Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management announced the launch of an operations centre:
    • This centre will receive reports of suspected cases of COVID-19 in workers’ accommodations and industrial zones
    • This centre can be reached by dialing 909

Naseer Vatanappally

  • Location: Indian social worker in Naif District, Dubai
  • Target Population:
    • Residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and their primary and secondary contacts
  • Services:
    • Shifting residents with COVID-19 symptoms to hospitals and other quarantine facilities
    • Coordinating medical screenings together with Dubai Police and Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
    • Food distribution
    • Distribution of personal protection supplies

Note: Nasser Vatanappally has tested positive for COVID-19 after serving tirelessly for three weeks. We pray for his speedy recovery and good health.

Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC)

  • Location: Naif District and surrounding areas of Al Ras, Dubai
  • Services at KMCC include:
    • 24X7 Help Desk
    • Food distribution with the help of Dubai Police and 25 restaurants such as Golden Fork, Calicut Paragon, Ustad Hotel and Uppum Mulakum
    • Distribution of medical supplies (masks, gloves, hand sanitizers)
    • Coordinating screening programs
    • Transportation of patients with the help of DHA and RTA

City Life Pharmacy

  • Location: Naif District, Dubai
  • Services provided by City Life Pharmacy :
    • Distribution of various PPE items to healthcare workers
    • Distribution masks and gloves to residents

PCT Humanity

  • Location: International Humanitarian City, Dubai
  • Services by PCT Humanity:
    • Distribution of masks at construction sites and labour accommodations
    • Donated 5,000 masks to Dubai Police for distribution
    • Donating chemical tankers to Dubai Municipality for sanitisation drive
    • Conducting awareness campaigns among blue-collar workers

Open Arms UAE (under Red Crescent UAE)


OWNERS OF PETS

Cloud 9 Pet Hotel | Abu Dhabi

  • Afra Al Dhaheri is both a vet and the owner of Cloud 9 Pet Hotel
  • Takes in pets who have been abandoned by their owners out of a false fear of contracting COVID-19
  • Offers free boarding and services for pets belonging to doctors and nurses involved with COVID-19

Further Reading

Coronavirus: Are you on unpaid leave? Here’s how you can work part-time

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