Burj Khalifa was turned into the world’s tallest donation box when all 1.2 million LED lights on its facade were illuminated Monday, each representing a meal donated to those financially affected by COVID-19. The campaign, launched only 9 days ago, allowed citizens, institutions, and companies to purchase lights for AED 10 (USD 2.7) each, creating the world’s largest dazzling display of social solidarity.

Within 24 hours of the campaign’s launch on May 3rd, 180,000 bulbs were purchased. The number immediately soared, and the goal was achieved barely a week later, with contributions from 115 countries around the world, including from global corporations like Amazon. 

By connecting each donation to a bulb on what is perhaps the world’s most iconic skyscraper, the initiative reified often abstract donations into a tangible image. “The [Burj Khalifa] initiative allowed donors to see the direct impact of their contributions,” says Khaled Al Shehhi, the project’s campaign director.

“The UAE once again confirms its global status as a beacon of hope through lighting up the façade of the world’s tallest building for a good cause,” says Muna Alkindi, CEO of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, which collaborated with Burj Khalifa on the project. “Now is the right time to stand together in solidarity and lend a helping hand to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”