x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Big names on block in charity auction

Also up for grabs is a package that includes a flight to New York with a stay at a luxury hotel, a private yoga session with Alec Baldwin and a tour of the set of his TV show 30 Rock

A date with the film star Scarlett Johansson will go to one lucky bidder. AFP
A date with the film star Scarlett Johansson will go to one lucky bidder. AFP

DUBAI // A Picasso painting, a date with the film star Scarlett Johansson and a private yoga class with the actor Alec Baldwin will be auctioned for charity tomorrow.

The auction will be held at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa as part of the Dubai International Film Festival to raise funds for projects led by Oxfam GB and Dubai Cares in areas including Yemen and the Palestinian territories.

Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam, said the UAE was the charity's biggest collaborator in the Middle East. "This charity gala is very important for the initiatives and work that we and Dubai Cares do in underdeveloped countries," Ms Stocking said. "We really hope people in the Emirates get their hands into their pockets to support us."

The Picasso, Bacchanale au taureau, was donated by Dr Frederick Mulder, an expert in 19th and 20th century European art.

Those present can bid for tickets to the world premiere of The Avengers, at an as-yet undecided location, where they can meet Johansson.

Also up for grabs is a package that includes a flight to New York with a stay at a luxury hotel, a private yoga session with Baldwin and a tour of the set of his TV show 30 Rock.

Organisers expect more than 400 people to take part in the auction, which will be attended by the model Helena Christensen, the Bollywood actor Rahul Bose and the former boy band star Ronan Keating.

Dubai Cares has donated US$4million (Dh14.6m) for various Oxfam projects in education, water and sanitation in countries including Pakistan, Niger and Mali.

Tariq Al Gurg, the chief executive of Dubai Cares, said: "Every dirham raised counts. The funds will support future primary education programmes in developing countries."

Oxfam has received $2.8m from the Khalifa Foundation for work in Afghanistan and has also worked with the UAE Red Crescent.

Ms Stocking arrived in the capital this week and is in talks with several aid organisations in the Emirates to secure more funding and co-operation for causes such as getting girls into schools and teacher-training.

The auction starts at 8pm. Tickets can be bought on the website dubaicares.ae.

 

aahmed@thenational.ae