Delivery drivers in Dubai pray and watch movies in air-conditioned hubs as lunch break begins – News

The initiative aims to address growing concerns about the welfare of delivery drivers, who are rigorously working outdoors under challenging conditions

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KT Photos: Shihab, SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat June 15, 2024, 2:42 PM

Last updated: Sat Jun 15, 2024 2:46 pm

“It’s such a big relief for us. It helps us focus on work as well as on the road,” said Kafeero Fred, a Ugandan national working at Talabat, who expressed his delight at the new rest areas designated for food delivery workers.

“I used to struggle to find a place where I could take a break between deliveries. Thanks to these rest areas, I can now quickly rest, have a drink and continue with my work without feeling exhausted,” Fred added, saying he feels more appreciated and cared for.

In a partnership between government agencies and the private sector, more than 6,000 rest areas have been set up throughout the city. These rest areas are equipped with essential amenities such as drinking water, snacks, charging points, a music system and a TV, allowing delivery drivers to take breaks and continue their work with renewed energy.

The initiative aims to address growing concerns about the welfare of delivery drivers, who are rigorously working outdoors under challenging conditions. “With these service areas, we can rest and take a break very easily,” said Gurmej Singh, a rider with Talabat.

For some riders, these stations serve as their entertainment destination. “I use my breaks to listen to music and sometimes even watch a movie. It’s great to have a place where I can relax and enjoy some entertainment before going back to work,” says Neeraj Pali, a delivery driver who works with Talabat around Mamzar and Al Nahda in Dubai.

And for some, the station is a perfect place to fulfill their religious duties. “Sometimes I miss reading the Holy Quran and praying. But now I have a place where I can fulfill my religious duties,” said Mohammed Shahad, a rider at Talabat.

“These rest areas have been a blessing to me. They provide a quiet space where I can offer my prayers and read the Holy Quran during my breaks. It is comforting to have a place where I can fulfill my religious duties while I am at work,” said Shahad.

“After hours of riding around, it makes a huge difference to have a place to sit and relax,” said Singh, adding that this move by the company shows that the hard work of the riders is recognized and appreciated.

Similarly, Deliveroo has launched hydration stations and Roo buses, designed to give passengers a convenient place to relax while delivering orders to customers across the country. The air-conditioned Roo buses will make pit stops in key areas of Dubai throughout the summer season, where riders can replenish their energy.

For 22-year-old Lovepreet Singh, a rider with Deliveroo, the rest areas help him beat the heat. “I take at least 4 breaks of 10 to 15 minutes during my work and spend my entire 1-hour break when I am not delivering orders,” says Lovepreet, adding that he feels comfortable at the cooling station, which helps him to relaxed.

“I’m happy that the cooling station provides us with cold water and juice. It gets quite hot during the afternoon and I appreciate the efforts of our company to take care of the riders,” said Lovepreet.

Mohsin Ali, another delivery driver who works at Deliveroo, takes two or three breaks between deliveries.

“The cooling station is very useful. It gives us a comfortable place to cool down, especially on hot days. Having access to these facilities allows us to stay focused, do our work better and focus on our safety,” said Ali.

“The best part is that these rest areas are located in easily accessible locations. So I know where to find one when I’m tired,” Ali added.