Dubai residents book Airbnbs in Ukraine to help civilians on the ground

Dubai residents have booked Airbnbs in Ukraineto help support civilians as the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in the country.

“People are booking Airbnbs in Ukraine that they don’t intend to stay in, just to help hosts,” Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky wrote on Twitter.

“In 48 hours, 61,406 nights were booked in Ukraine. That’s $1.9 million for hosts in need. Such a cool idea from our community. Thanks.”

In the United Arab Emirates, a post has been circulating on Instagram sharing the story of a woman who booked a room in Kyiv to send funds to the property host.

“A woman on Facebook had a great idea and I went ahead and did the same,” reads the post, which is shared via Instagram Stories. “She logged on to Airbnb and booked a few nights in a private flat in Kyiv, then messaged that she obviously wouldn’t come, but she hopes the money will help her somehow. of another.

“I looked through several apartments and picked one that was run by a lady and it was clearly her home. Lots of good reviews about it, it was a simple room in a house…for anyone thinking of doing this, you never know, it might help someone directly. What I gave, I would have spent on coffees this week. How lucky we are to have our freedom.

Dubai residents Sarah Fulton and Alex McAlpine both followed suit, with McAlpine booking a room in Kyiv in April for a week, priced at Dh364. The response from the host, Nataliya, came almost immediately: “Thank you very much! It means a lot now!

McAlpine, who goes by @plantbasedmamadxb on Instagram, explained his reasoning to The National. “I struggled with a sense of helplessness and we donated to the Red Cross, but I felt a call to share ideas with my Instagram community on how they can make small but impactful contributions. .

“A friend told me about a move to book Airbnb rooms in Ukraine and then send the owner a message letting them know you won’t be checking in but sending money and wanting their safety. I went online, booked a week stay in Kyiv, messaged the owner and within an hour I got a message from Nataliya saying thank you and that was really necessary.”

Airbnb has suspended operations in Russia and Belarus and waived all fees on properties in Ukraine, ensuring its guests in the country fully benefit from any bookings. “We are so touched by the inspiring generosity of our community at this time of crisis,” read an official statement from the platform. “Airbnb is temporarily waiving guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine at this time.”

Airbnb and its charity arm also announced that they would provide free short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine. “We also encourage anyone interested in getting involved with to visit and support’s initiative to provide housing for refugees fleeing Ukraine, by becoming a host or making a donation. To date, we’ve seen an overwhelming response to this effort, with over 357,000 visitors to this page.

Additionally, Airbnb last week announced an initiative to provide housing for 21,300 Afghan refugees, with the additional goal of providing free temporary housing for another 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, among other regions.

Updated: March 05, 2022, 06:35

Comments are closed.