The world's tallest building, Dubai's 828m Burj Khalifa, has become a glowing charity donation box to buy food for residents of the United Arab Emirates suffering from the economic impact of the new coronavirus pandemic.

Each of the tower's 1.2 million lights can be bought for 10 dirhams (€2.50) to buy one meal. People could bid to claim the light at the very top.

As the region's tourism and business hub, with the world's busiest international airport, Dubai's economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people have lost their jobs or had incomes reduced. Tens of thousands of migrant workers, who often live in crowded shared accommodation where the virus spreads more easily, have registered to be repatriated.

The donation box has raised funds for more than 1.2 million meals so far.

The fundraising drive is part of a campaign to fund ten million meals for low-income families during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), patronised by Dubai's ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The UAE has recorded 18,878 cases of infection with Covid-19 and 201 deaths, the second highest death toll after Saudi Arabia of the six Gulf states.