Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 January 2020

Mates help mates: Dubai supports Australia with Burj Khalifa display

World's tallest tower acknowledges the country's damaging bushfires

The world's tallest building displayed a message of support for the Australian people from the UAE on Wednesday, in sympathy with the ongoing bushfires ravaging the country.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa was lit up with messages of solidarity, saying the world was uniting in its support of Australia - as the country battles one the largest fire crises in recent history.

At least 23 people as well as a billion animals are thought to have died in widespread fires that have been burning across Australia since September last year.

Some of the flames in the worst-hit states of New South Wales and Victoria have proved so powerful that fires have formed their own weather systems.

Resulting lightening strikes have in some cases started fresh infernos, leaving firefighters battling to stem their spread in even greater danger.

On Wednesday night, shortly after 8pm local time, the UAE showed its support for Australia's ongoing efforts to contain the disaster, displaying the hashtag #Mateshelpmates.

Last week, Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said the UAE would help raise funds for the wildfire-hit country.

She held talks with the Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton to co-ordinate and determine the type of support needed.

Dr Mohammed Al Falahi, secretary general of Emirates Red Crescent, said discussions had been held with the Australian Red Cross about how best to help those who had lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods as a result of the fires burning across Australia.

The two organisations will launch an appeal across the Emirates to raise funds for bush fire victims, Mr Al Falahi said.

The fundraising initiatives were launched after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, discussed the fires in a telephone call to Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia.

He said the UAE, which is home to between 16,000 and 17,000 Australian expats, was ready to support the Australian people.

Updated: January 16, 2020 09:47 AM

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