On April 16, Indian expat Rahul was desperate for help. His wife was admitted to hospital in Ajman for delivery, and torrential rains had made it impossible for him to move his car. He called his garage asking for help to get his car moving and prepared to pay a hefty sum for it. Instead, the garage owner Favaz loaned Rahul his personal vehicle for two days until he brought the baby home and refused to charge a single dirham for it.

“We have been operating in this country for more than 23 years,” said Favaz, managing director of Al Asli Auto Maintenance. “We felt like it was our duty to help our fellow residents. The situation that Rahul was in, it could happen to any of us and we were just thankful that we were able to help him.”

During and after the unprecedented rains and flooding in the UAE on April 16, many businesses and corporates have gone above and beyond to help the country recover from the devastating losses.

Located in Ajman industrial area, Al Asli towed over 20 cars in the aftermath of the floods and gave them free service. “We know that some garages were charging up to Dh1,000 for the services but a lot of people were struggling,” said Favaz. “So we did our best to help them. One car owner had been laid off from their job a few weeks prior to that. Another was going through a divorce and was supposed to fly back to her home country for good on that day. She had no savings and nothing but her clothes with her. Even a charge of Dh100 would have been too much for her to bear.”

Pumping out water

Sharjah-based Al Marwan Machinery was one of the companies that mobilised its resources to help clear the streets in the aftermath of the rains. Over 40 large water tankers and trucks, along with additional support vehicles like water trailers, and off-highway trucks, were deployed.

The team also utilised heavy machinery to help move stranded vehicles, clear debris, and expedite the drying process. A dedicated crew of 50 people worked to coordinate operations across affected zones in Sharjah, focusing on key areas like Jamal Abdulnasir Street, King Faisal Street, Al Wahda Road and Kalba City.

After the initial response, the company’s sister-concern Al Marwan Construct deployed 37 dewatering pumps in impacted roads and neighbourhoods to help clear water. The company also helped rebuild a 1km stretch of road near Al Batayeh within 24 hours, providing crucial passage for residents cut-off by the temporary flooding.

"In times of challenge, it was heartening to witness the unity of our country,” said Moataz Al Zaiem, general director of Al Marwan Machinery. “We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve our community and are ready to offer our support at all times."

Furry friends

Several other companies pitched in to help in the relief efforts. Pet daycare and boarding provider Petsville has offered free boarding at its Dubai Investment Park (DIP) branch until the middle of May to support pet owners whose homes have been severely impacted.

The company is offering free lodging for up to seven days to support as many pets and their owners as possible with 40 rooms dedicated for this.

Fastfood company McDonalds also contributed by providing 1,000 free meals to affected families as well as rescuers in collaboration with Sharjah Municipality.

The company also coordinated with Dubai Municipality to help in the aftermath of the floods. Over 40 employees assisted the civic body in cleaning up roads and removing waste as well as sand in the Al Quoz area.

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