Monday, December 12, 2011

8th DIFF’s ‘One Night to change Lives’ charity gala raises more than US$1 million for Dubai Cares and Oxfam

Raises US$710,000 to support 24 schools in Pakistan
IWC watch fetches US$85,000; Pablo Picasso masterpiece bid for US$50,000 and
work by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej auctioned for US$30,000

Dubai, UAE; December 12, 2011: ‘One Night to Change Lives,’ the black-tie charity evening
organized by the 8th Dubai International Film Festival and luxury Swiss watch manufacturer
IWC Schaffhausen, under the patronage of UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint
Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime
Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, raised about US$ 1 million, with the proceeds to go
for the UAE-based philanthropic organization Dubai Cares and global development and aid
agency, Oxfam.

Held at Armani Hotel Dubai, the charity dinner and auction, featuring an array of treasured
celebrity items and experiences, was attended by a bevy of celebrities including Hollywood
star Owen Wilson; the Danish fashion model and photographer Helena Christensen, and
Indian actor and social activist Rahul Bose – both Oxfam ambassadors; singer Ronan Keating
who performed with his land; Egyptian star Amr Waked and Emirati filmmaker Ali Mustafa.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma, said: “We are honoured that ‘One Night to Change Lives,’
hosted as part of the eighth edition of DIFF, has contributed to bring about meaningful
change and difference to the lives of communities and individuals around the world,
including the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The overwhelming response to the charity
auction illustrates the genuine commitment of the people to make a difference to the
lives of those less fortunate. With the proceeds of the auction going to the valuable work
of Dubai Cares and Oxfam, everyone involved, especially the bidders, can be assured that
every single dollar raised will be used to benefit those who are truly in need. ”

Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said: “During the charity gala,
members of the UAE community extended their generous support to the needy around
the world – it was truly a testament to the spirit of philanthropy that exists here in the
UAE. The money raised will support Dubai Cares primary education programmes that are
currently reaching 5 million beneficiaries in 24 developing countries around the world,
giving more children and their communities hope to turn their dreams into reality. We are
grateful to HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the Dubai International Film Festival and IWC
Schaffhausen for providing this wonderful platform and to our donors for their support.”

Oxfam Chief Executive Dame Barbara Stocking, said: “We are delighted by the
overwhelming success of this auction which has raised valuable funds for Oxfam’s life-
changing work around the world; and are very grateful for the generosity shown by the

people of the UAE. We sincerely appreciate the support extended to us by HRH Princess
Haya, the Dubai International Film Festival, IWC Schaffhausen, and by the many celebrities
and Oxfam ambassadors who have helped to make this auction such a wonderful event. We
hope that this charity gala is the first of many such successful initiatives in the region.”

In a strong demonstration of the support to the less-fortunate communities globally,
participants at the charity auction stepped forward to promote educational opportunities in
Pakistan through a bid to support schools in the country.

The charity gala raised US$710,000 for funding 24 schools in Pakistan with the Varkey
GEMS Foundation contributing US$300,000 to support 10 schools, while other supporters
confirmed funding for the rest of the schools.

The Varkey GEMS Foundation is a not-for-profit education foundation and is the
philanthropic arm of GEMS Education, the largest kindergarten to grade 12 private
education operator in the world. Dino Varkey of The Varkey GEMS Foundation, said: “It was
a privilege to support such a worthy cause. When an underprivileged child is provided with
access to education it is not only the child itself that is positively impacted but his or her
family and the broader community."

One of the biggest attractions at the auction was a luxury IWC Swiss watch, designed
especially for the charity gala, which was auctioned for US$85,000. The Pablo Picasso
masterpiece ‘Bacchanale au Taureau’ went for US$ 50,000, and an outstanding artwork by
an Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej was auctioned for US$ 30,000.

A stunning handcrafted jewellery piece co-created by Livia Firth to wear to the Golden
Globes, where husband Colin won the Best Actor award, was auctioned for US$25,000.
This bespoke item has been created entirely from precious stones, set with over 400 black
diamonds, rubies, purple spinels and South Sea pearls in 18ct white gold, and is ethically and
sustainably sourced. Among the unique celebrity items auctioned were two tickets to the
world premiere of The Avengers, donated by Scarlett Johansson, which fetched US$22,000.
The winning bidder also has the opportunity to meet Scarlett at the premiere.

An exciting Alec Baldwin experience auctioned for as much as US$14,000. As part of the
package, two people will be flown to New York to stay in a luxury hotel. They will later enjoy
a private yoga class with Alec Baldwin, taught by his partner Hilaria Thomas at the Yoga
Vida centre in New York. An Armani Hotel Dubai experience was bid for US$4,000. The gala
dinner also raised significant funds through table seats and raffle draws.

Founded in 2007 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Cares is working
to improve children’s access to quality primary education in developing countries. The
philanthropic organization expresses the UAE's commitment to achieve, by 2015, the United
Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDG) 2 and 3 - namely, to guarantee universal
primary education and to promote gender equality, respectively. It is also helping to forge a
global partnership for development, as represented by UN MDG 8.

Oxfam has been engaged in the Arabian Gulf for almost 4 years and, in addition to Dubai
Cares, has also established partnerships with the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation,
AlWaleed Bin Talal Foundation, AGFUND and the UAE Red Crescent. Moreover, last week,
Oxfam received a generous grant from H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi's initiative ‘Salam
Ya Sughar Fund’ for education, food security and enhancing opportunities for the people of
Gaza to earn a livelihood.

Auctioned items and experiences: Highlights
• Funding schools in Pakistan: Total of 24 schools with contributions of US$710,000
• IWC watch: US$85,000
• Pablo Picasso masterpiece ‘Bacchanale au Taureau’: US$50,000
• Artwork by Mattar Bin Lahej: UD$30,000
• Handcrafted jewellery by Livia Firth: US$25,000
• Tickets to the world premiere of The Avengers, donated by Scarlett Johansson:
• An exciting Alec Baldwin experience: US$ 14,000
• Tickets to stay at Armani Hotel in Dubai: US$ 4,000
• Funds generated from table seats: US$47,123
• Raffle prizes auctioned off by winners: US$15,342

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the title sponsor of the Dubai International Film
Festival. The eighth edition of DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty
Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International
Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai
Culture & Arts Authority. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit or join DIFF on

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