The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has donated 18 tonnes of medical supplies to help Marbella in the coronavirus crisis. In a move that confirms the strength of the town's links with the Arab world, the UAE has sent a shipment containing protective materials such as surgical face masks and hand sanitiser as well as items specific for hospital use. The donation was collected from Seville airport by two lorries and arrived in the town last Friday.
The 1,500 boxes of materials have been taken to the congress centre where they will be sorted before distribution. Equipment for hospital use will be given to the regional health authority for the Costa del Sol hospital. The rest will be distributed among residents in Marbella.
Marbella's mayor Ángeles Muñoz explained that the donation was organised through the UAE embassy in Madrid. "When the pandemic began we held a meeting with the ambassador and representatives in Marbella," said Muñoz. "They asked us what we needed," she said explaining that despite the fact that the government was keen to make the donation, it still took several weeks to get through red tape before the goods could be sent.
Osman Musa Al-Hassan, a member of the Emirates diplomatic corps in Spain who manages the Abu Dhabi royal family's palace on the El Batatal estate in Marbella, was present to receive the shipment of material. Al-Hassan said that the donation is an example of his country's affection for Spain.