Over 50 Alserkal Avenue organisations joined forces through the Alserkal Pay It Forward Programme to support each other and the wider Dubai community in the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This powerful community collaboration saw the businesses generate AED2mn in kind in just two months. Launched by Alserkal Founder Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal and the Alserkal family in April 2020, the Programme invited community members to apply for a subsidy for their lease commitment for three months in return for ‘paying it forward ’to their neighbours.

The Programme was created to enable organisations to navigate a difficult economic landscape. “The power of community is unparalleled,” says Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, founder of Alserkal, reflecting on the programme thus far. “The generosity of p eople does not surprise me but it continues to humble me. Through the Alserkal Pay It Forward Programme, the Alserkal community has risen to the challenge of supporting each other through difficult times and demonstrated true strength and resilience. Com munity has always been the bedrock of our organisation, and we will always keep this essential value at the heart of everything we do”. Over half of the AED2mn value offered has directly supported Alserkal Avenue community businesses through the exchange of goods, services, and expertise including design, videography, brand building, media resources, website design, and transportation support.

Culinary concept INKED turned their space into a community kitchen, cooking and delivering 22,290 meals to frontline health workers and vulnerable communities in collaboration with Dubai Health Authority, and the UAE Food Bank.

Family-business Italian Shoe Factory produced 500 masks for the UAE Deaf Association.

Kave created safety boxes that included Kayani masks and handmade soaps by Indigo Soap Works; for every box sold, a meal was donated to the INKED community kitchen programme.

Unisex salon Chalk gifted every organisation in Alserkal Avenue vouchers offering Chalk services, encouraging people to get pampered.

Careem Bike offered 250 free annual subscriptions to low income earners, supporting them with their mobility across the city.