A cool way to show goodwill
Friday market raises cash for charity - and gives fee ice creams to the public
Hundreds of people queued to receive free ice cream in Bur Dubai at the weekend, in the latest charitable community drive centred around a fundraising outdoor market.
Some 3,000 large tubs of Carte D’Or were given away, many to lower-income workers and families living in the area.
The Friday Market on Rolla Street is run by Juhi Yasmeen Khan in association with the registered charity the Dar Al Ber Society.
The goodwill gesture was held ahead of the beginning of Ramadan.
The market itself has been running for several months and sees stallholders pay Dhs250 for spots. The fee goes to charity. One patron, Mohan Pillai, from Kerala, said he’s been coming to the market every week since it opened to escape high prices in malls.
“I come here for a good time, and to relax, sometimes with my friends. I come for the cheap T-shirts and free blood checks too,” said the 51year-old security guard, in between spoonfuls of ice cream.
Pillai is one of about 200 people that take advantage of free blood tests at a stand at the back of the market, staffed by nurses from Prime Hospital. They check for diabetes and high blood pressure.
“So far, more than 10,000 people have under- gone free medical checkups offered by Prime Hospital, while more than 30,000 consumer products such as Lipton Tea, Magnum Ice Cream, Dove and Tresemme shampoo have been distributed free to the visitors of The Friday Market,” said Khan.
She said the idea for the market came about three years ago.
“I started a group called ‘Women Helping Women’ in which we helped women and labourers wherever they are,” she said. “We go into labour camps and teach English, and we distribute freebies to them as well, and for a long time we were thinking we could do it on a larger scale, so the idea came for a Friday market.”
Dar Al Ber has been helping people for almost four decades with sickness, rent payments, and tuition fees and humanitarian relief, said Salwa Niazi, a social researcher at the organisation.
“We look at people’s needs, and can share with them in their pain, and offer them help to get out of their problems or their troubles,” she said. “We are always there.”
200 people every week have free medical checks
COOL: Shoppers tuck in to free ice creams at the market on Bur Dubai’s Rolla Street