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Starwood Gets In The Giving Spirit For Ramadan (Again)

August 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

What happens when you combine food- and water-deprived cab drivers with a well-stocked hotel kitchen eager for some good PR? Mayhem, most likely. But that's not stopping Starwood from going ahead, for the third year in a row, with its "Iftar For Cabs" program, which offers free packaged meals at sundown to any cab drivers who have been fasting for Ramadan.

30 Starwood hotels across the Middle East will be dispensing the prepared packs of iftar, which is traditionally the first meal eaten at sundown after a long day of fasting. Understandably, things might get a little frantic around the lobbies of these participating hotels—you might want to play it safe and stagger your dinner reservation accordingly. Or simply order room service.

The concept has apparently become so popular that it's now seen as an "annual tradition" in participating cities—meaning the number of hungry cab drivers who turn up for a free meal at the front entrance of the hotel has likely grown each year. This month, the celebration will fall on August 7. Consider yourself warned.

Or, consider it a part of your vacation's "cultural enrichment." As planned, dozens of employees from multiple departments in the hotel will stand outside waiting to pass on the iftar packs to cab drivers, and, judging from these photos on Le Meridien Dubai's Facebook page, the scene, while hectic, seems full of joy and merriment. Like a neighborhood block party in the middle of Christmas.

And Starwood is likely willing to sacrifice an hour or two of mayhem as a positive community plug. Says Guido de Wilde, the company's Middle East VP and Regional Director:

"This initiative truly represents the spirit of Ramadan. It gives us great pride as a company to go the extra step to give back to the communities in which we operate. This is our way of saying thank you to cab drivers who work tirelessly throughout the year to provide transportation services to our guests and in support of our hotels."

[Photo: Le Meridien Dubai Facebook]

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