DUBAI: At first, they thought it was a joke when a notification came that their employer had recognized them with a 50,000-dirham ($14,000) bonus, but as the surprise proved real, the two Pakistani deliverymen in Dubai say they are now set to make their life dreams come true.
It was in March when Muhammad Khurram, a rider with online food delivery company Deliveroo received a call saying that the bonus — over ten times his monthly wage — was there for him as a "thank you" gesture for delivering more than 2,000 orders over the past five years that he has been working with the company.
“I was out on a delivery when I received the call that I had been given a bonus of AED50,000. At first, I was surprised, and I thought someone is joking with me,” Khurram, 35, told Arab News earlier this week.
He didn't believe his luck and it took another few confirmation calls until he finally broke the news to his relatives.
"Then I was sure that I has been given the money and I got a mail later to confirm this,” he said. "My family was very surprised."
Now, the Karachi native is planning to start a business back home. He said he wants to open a cafe or a restaurant and secure a better future for his family.
Last month, he received 8,333 dirhams in the first instalment, with the rest of the amount to be paid to him over the next six months.
Another Pakistani deliveryman, who is also the company's top performer in the UAE, is Muhammad Zeeshan from Lahore.
In the beginning, just like Khurram he thought that the 50,000-dirham reward was a joke.
"I did not discuss with anyone when I got the call because I thought people would make fun of me, but later when I got an email confirmation, I shared it with my family who were very excited," he told Arab News.
Earning about 4,000 dirhams a month, the 35-year-old, who has also been with Deliveroo for the past five years, said he had dreamt of setting up a business in Lahore but never knew when it would be possible.
“We are left with very little after doing all the expenses and sending money to the family," he said. "The bonus makes a big difference."
He is also expecting to receive the full sum in the coming months.
"Muhammad Zeeshan and Muhammad Khurram received their first payment in May 2021 and will continue to receive installments of approximately AED8,000 each month throughout the next six months," the London-based company, which operates in the UK, UAE, Kuwait, France, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands, told Arab News in a statement quoting Deliveroo CEO and founder Will Shu.
"Over the last year, riders have helped us do so much more than just deliver great food, having supported businesses and enabled vulnerable people or those self-isolating to stay safe indoors throughout a global pandemic," Shu said. "We’re pleased to be able to say thank you."
Deliveroo says this year it had awarded bonuses ranging from $238 to $14,000 to 36,000 of its highest performing employees worldwide.