x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Social networkers rally to the cause for homeless Dubai tenants

Take our poll: Twitter was buzzing with requests for donations of clothes and essential items for people evacuated from the 34-floor tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

Some residents provide tea and snacks at Tamweel Tower.
Some residents provide tea and snacks at Tamweel Tower.

DUBAI // Social-network users are rallying to help tenants left homeless by the blaze at Tamweel Tower.

Twitter was buzzing with requests for donations of clothes and essential items for people evacuated from the 34-floor tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

Tenants have been put up in hotels since the blaze, but word got out that basic essentials were needed for those who fled their homes in the middle of the night.

Bhavana Nair, who is organising an appeal on Twitter, has been circulating her mobile number with the #jlt hash tag since yesterday morning.

Ms Nair received more than 50 calls from people eager to help in the first five hours after her tweet.

"I'm amazed with all these people and I'm so overwhelmed," she said.

"It just shows the city has a lot of generous people. Some are calling up and asking where they can send a cheque.

"We are trying to get to the families. A lot of things have been donated."

Ms Nair said people had been collecting baby supplies to donate after another call for assistance was posted on Facebook.

Henriette Svensen, who works for Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, said it was still assessing where to best place drop-off points for donations.

"A note will go up on the JLT community website and people can contact us and tell us what they are offering and what they can contribute," Ms Svensen said.

"We can go back to them when we have a bigger picture of what people have actually lost."

Tiya Fazel, 21, originally from Pakistan, has already gathered supplies and is waiting to hear about where to take them.

Ms Fazel said she heard of the appeal though the BlackBerry Messenger service.

The gallery owner has collected unwanted slippers and shawls from her home and also bought extra toiletries.

"Lots of my friends will donate once word gets around," Ms Fazel said. "With social media, it's easier to get hold of people these days and everyone wants to help.

"It's what you do. It's all about being a good human being."

eharnan@thenational.ae