‘This is not just an iftar tent, but a living example of the cohesion of Emirati society and its love for philanthropy,’ This is how the Emirati citizen Ismail Hassan describes his tent that has been providing iftar for fasting people, and anyone in need, for more than six years.

Ismail Hassan is a former volleyball player for Al Wasl and Al Ain, and a father of four. He is currently an assistant coach for the UAE volleyball team, a coach for a women skydiving team, and a civil defense officer.

‘I have always liked to do good. In 2011, I thought about setting up a tent for fasting people and I contacted Beit Al Khair Association, which contributed with 200 meals a day. This has encouraged the residents of this area to contribute also, they brought different types of food without even asking them,’ He told Dubai Post.

He says that he primarily loves gatherings and interacting with different nationalities, and to see fasting people, and those in need from almost 20 nationalities, gathering in his tent and benefiting from what he provides is a happiness that he cannot describe.

‘People do not necessarily need food, they need places like this where they gather and enjoy,’ He said.

‘For example, some time ago, an American family came to my tent thinking we were selling food, but when they learned that we were serving iftar, they came the next day and donated tables. Also, I remember a group of Indian students who donated iftar meals to almost 350 people. These stories and many others that I’m aware of exemplify the love of philanthropy in the UAE society.’