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Thirsty Dubai labourers given a helping hand as the mercury soars.

Photo Credit: Instagram user @KtoDubai

Dubai residents poured out their thanks to labourers in the searing heat -- distributing 10,000 bottles of water to workers across the city as temperatures continue to rise above 40C.

More than 450 volunteers participated in yesterday's drive, which organisers say was to emphasise the 'sameness'of residents, whatever their job orbackground.

Workers were also given cold face cloths with 'thank you' written in six languages, including Arabic, English and Hindi.

"It is not about giving water, this is about giving a break and having a moment of connection to these workers," said Lina Nahhas, 43, founder of the Sameness Project, which has been reaching out to the city's workerssince 2010.

"We want to show them that they are not invisible, that we are also workers in Dubai and that we can share a moment of sameness. We want to make this human connection."

Temperatures are forecast to hit 44C in the coming days across the UAE as summer nears, with hazy and humid conditions predicted.

The Sameness Project's drive yesterday started at 10am at the Collegiate American School in Umm Suqiem.

Families, a few tourists and several corporate teams participated.

Each group of friends or company was asked to choose an area between Al Qusais in the east to Jebel Ali in thewest to ensure workers at differentsites benefited.

"The bulk of the water was distributed in less than half an hour," said Canadian-Palestinian expat Nahhas.

The Sameness Project said it has helped to distribute more than 85,000 bottles and face cloths since 2010, and aims to reach 110,000 by end ofthis summer.

The next event is to be held in June.

Katie Overy, a 33-year-old British radio presenter, joined a group of friends from PR firm Dabo & Co, who were participating.

"The idea is not only to distribute the water but to talk to the workers and exchange conversation," said Overy, who has lived in Dubai for seven years.

"This time we met an older guy from Bangladesh who spoke relatively good English. "He said 'thank you and may god give you money, love, and happiness'.

"And I said 'no you are the superhero'. You end up having really cool chats and they all say thank you."

The event is the latest by the project, which has also sought to help taxi drivers with back pain stemming from long days at the wheel.

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology said Sunday is expected to be hazy and partly cloudy in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other parts of the country, with winds stirring up dust and sand.

Light rains have also been predicted for Sunday morning and Monday evening.

"The maximum temperature will be high at 38AC to 40AC on Sunday and Monday and fresh winds stirring up dust and sand, reducing visibility," said a Met official.

On Tuesday, residents can expect a partly cloudy weather and an increase in temperatu1re to between 43AC to 44AC.

Relative humidity is forecast to reach a maximum of 80 per cent over the coast and 75 per cent over inland areas.

Seas will be slight to moderate in the Arabian Gulf and in the Oman Sea.

wafa.issa@7days.ae

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:May 9, 2015
Words:547
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