DIFF Daily 2011

‘One Night to Change Lives’ raises over $1 million

Dec 12,2011 - 06:18 PM


Dubai’s glitterati and global cinema stars descended upon The Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa for the Dubai Cares and Oxfam Charity Gala on Saturday night.

The black-tie event, held under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, was hosted by the Dubai Intl. Film Festival and IWC Schaffhausen and saw a range of stars including Owen Wilson, Ronan Keating and Helena Christensen, attend in an effort to raise money to benefit communities and individuals around the world, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

At the foot of the Burj Khalifa, with the backdrop of magnificent water fountains, attendees managed to raise a cool $1 million for charity in a space of a few hours.

The auction, which saw nearly 90 per cent of suppliers donate their time and skills for no fee, saw an array of top-quality merchandise and events go for high prices.

The Alec Baldwin Experience, which included a private yoga class with him and his girlfriend and a tour of the “30 Rock” set,” was snapped up for $14,000 while a one-off IWC men’s watch sold for $85,000.

But it didn’t stop there: an original Pablo Picasso painting went for $50,000 while a painting by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahij sold for $30,000.

Two tickets to join Scarlett Johansson at the world premiere of upcoming pic “The Avengers,” sold for $22,000. The thesp even sent a video message to the audience saying that she was “sorry” she couldn’t attend the Dubai Film Festival this year but was in Africa helping children “achieve the right for clean water
and sanitation.”

“Please bid high and bid strong,” she said.

Earrings and a necklace that Livia Firth (wife of Colin) designed and wore to the Golden Globes when her husband nabbed the best actor kudo, were snapped up for $25,000.

Indian thesp Rahul Bose gave perhaps the most emotive speech of the night, recalling his experiences in Pakistan following the country’s devastating floods, which had destroyed schools and homes.

He then asked for people in the audience to give $30,000, which builds a school for around 200 children in the area – his touching speech saw some 23
bids put in for the schools, raising $690,000 in total.

The evening finished with Irish thesp Keating performing a set of his songs to the jubilant crowd.

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