Dubai turns world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa into coronavirus charity box

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The world’s tallest building, Dubai’s 828-metre Burj Khalifa, has become a glowing charity donation box, raising money for food for United Arab Emirates residents amid the coronavirus crisis.

Each of the tower’s 1.2 million external lights was ‘sold’ for 10 dirhams ($2.70), enough to buy one meal. As donations came in, the tower ‘filled up,’ and people could also bid to claim the light at the very top.

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As the region’s tourism and business hub with the world’s busiest international airport, Dubai’s economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people have lost jobs or had incomes reduced. Tens of thousands of migrant workers have registered to be repatriated.

“Hope you have a good solid meal. We take things for granted but life has a way of teaching us how to wake up,” said donor Shereen Harris in a public comment on the campaign’s website.

The UAE has recorded 19,661 cases of infection with COVID-19 and 203 deaths.

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The donation box has raised funds for more than 1.2 million meals so far, organizing body The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) said.

The fundraising drive is part of a campaign to fund 10 million meals for low-income families during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan by MBRGI, patronized by Dubai’s ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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