(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) For the fifth consecutive year the starwood hotels group is preparing iftar parcels for taxi drivers
Although large quantities of food are ending up in bins hotels’ iftar buffet leftovers can no longer be sent to the poor due to health and safety concerns.
starwood representatives handing out an iftar hamper to a taxi driver in abu dhabi last year. this year the ‘iftar for cabs’ will be held on july 16. — supplied photoIn the past red crescent used to collect this food pack it and distribute it to the needy across the city. but now hotels across abu dhabi are no longer joining forces with the charity to give away unconsumed iftar buffet food.As the representative of a five-star hotel in the capital says the main problem is that since most of this food has been taken out of refrigerators and “exposed” on buffets re-packing it represents a health risk. the fact that ramadan falls in the hottest time of the year doesn’t help either.The largest hotel group in the uae though is observing the charitable spirit of ramadan with its ‘iftar for cabs’ initiative.For the fifth consecutive year the starwood hotels group whose hotels include st regis sheraton westin w hotel le meridien le royal meridien aloft and four points is preparing iftar parcels for taxi drivers.“this year iftar for cabs will be on july 16” yves tarabout deputy general manager of sheraton abu dhabi hotel and resort said. “last year we gave away over 100 iftar boxes. it is a thank you gesture for the support taxi drivers give us throughout the year.”Sheraton boxes usually contain sandwiches salads sweets and juices. on july 16 one hour before iftar taxi dispatches will announce the names of the starwood hotels in abu dhabi dubai and other middle east cities taking part in the initiative.Other hotels in abu dhabi as well as entertainment parks have joined forces with the abu dhabi tourism and culture authority (adtca) to host a ramadan competition with daily prizes worth dh250000.The 26 tourism stakeholders will give away several prizes daily such as flight tickets hotel stay vouchers dinners spa treatments and gym memberships.“this year’s competition is more culturally focussed” said mouza al shamsi acting executive director of marketing and communications at adtca.“we hope they will (drive) people to research for answers.”Now in its third year the ramadan competition is asking daily questions about abu dhabi’s culture history and heritage.Run in arabic and english it may be entered by logging on to http://competition.visitabudhabi.aeSilviakhaleejtimes.com