The shipment arrived at Heathrow Airport on a special chartered flight on Friday morning and was made up of 6.6 tonnes of melt blown fabric, an essential component of surgical face masks. There is currently a global shortage of the material and its export is restricted from the UAE.
This single consignment will enable the UK to manufacture millions of face masks. The UAE Ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist Britain, one of our closest friends and allies. The UAE is committed to helping fight COVID-19 wherever it can and has donated aid to 63 countries around the world.” The UAE was able to supply the material because of its internationallyrecognised success in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Soon after the virus emerged the UAE retooled factories to produce PPE. It also introduced one of the world’s most comprehensive testing and tracking regimes – the UAE has so far tested two million people, and intends to test nearly all 9 million citizens and residents.
Careful supply chain management also meant the UAE did not exhaust domestic supplies of melt blown fabric, which is used in the oil industry and is manufactured in the UAE. The UAE is committed to helping the world fight COVID-19. It has sent more than 716 tonnes of medical aid to 63 countries. More than 716,000 medical professionals have been assisted around the world. In April, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, donated 60 tonnes of urgent medical aid to the UK. The NHS has been given rentfree use of ExCel London, the conference centre owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre which is currently NHS Nightingale.