x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Charity event raises Dh1.9 million

A gala dinner held as part of the Saadiyat Beach Classic golf tournament raised funds to benefit the Ability Centre for Special Needs and the Emirates Autism Centre

ABU DHABI // Two local children's charities will see an influx of more than Dh1.9 million following the Saadiyat Beach Classic golf tournament.

The funds, which will benefit the Ability Centre for Special Needs and the Emirates Autism Centre, were raised during a gala dinner attended by celebrities and athletes.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, matched the more than Dh900,000 raised at a live and silent auction, bringing the total to nearly Dh2m.

The amount tops the Dh1.2m raised at last year's tournament.

"We are delighted with the support we have received this year," said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the chairman of the Tourism Development and Investment Company, which organised the event. "The Saadiyat Beach Classic is a great event now firmly on Abu Dhabi's calendar."

Some of the proceeds will also go to the Player Foundation, a US-based non-profit aimed at providing education to underprivileged children, which was founded by golf legend Gary Player, who also designed the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course.

Some of the luxury items sold at the auction included a portrait of Sheikh Zayed created by the students at the Emirates Autism Centre and a Saadiyat Beach Golf Course Annual Passport for 2011.

Earlier this month, administrators at the charities said the funds would be used to help parents pay school tuition and to boost existing programmes.