x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Charity hosts desert outing

Up to 1,000 people are expected to take part in an autumn desert drive next month to raise funds for the Al Ihsan charity, which supports widows and orphans.

ABU DHABI // Up to 1,000 people are expected to take part in an autumn desert drive next month to raise funds for the Al Ihsan charity, which supports widows and orphans. The Desert Drive for Dirhams will take place at Khayal Al Sahara, or Sahara Illusion, at Al Khatem, about 80km from Abu Dhabi, on Oct 10, beginning at 5pm. The desert camp with tents opened earlier this year and the evening's attractions will include dinner, camel rides, an astronomer, henna tattooing, shisha and other Arabic entertainment,

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi of Ajman, a member of the Ajman royal family and a cousin of the emirate's Crown Prince, who is patron of the charity, is scheduled to attend the event. "The charity work for Al Ihsan is based on our Islamic and cultural values," he said. "My mission in life has been a wide cultural understanding and adopting a method which brings different cultures together and promotes understanding."

Nancy Power, from Net Tours, which is organising the event with Sheikh Abdul Aziz and Allied Pickfords, said: "We look forward to a memorable evening of fund-raising, cultural exchange and exciting entertainment. It is a perfect opportunity for everybody to experience the magic of the desert while supporting a very worthwhile cause and making new friends." Al Ihsan was founded in 1998 by Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid, the ruler of Ajman, to support the emirate's hundreds of poverty-stricken widows and orphans, both Emiratis and expatriates.

With 10 staff and four volunteers, the charity offers financial support, food and medical care to about 1,600 families in Ajman. Another 6,000 families in neighbouring emirates are offered food and clothing when the charity has enough to spare. Women and children from Somalia, Yemen, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as Bedouins and Emiratis, also receive aid, regardless of their religion. While most of the women are widows, some have husbands in prison or too ill to work. The charity also runs a medical centre that provides free or subsidised medical care for poorer residents who do not qualify for access to government hospitals and do not have health insurance.

Tickets for the event, which cost Dh350 (US$95) with Dh100 going to the Al Ihsan Charity, are on sale at Net Tours on Khalifa Street, next to Invest Bank and opposite the Sheraton Corniche. Transport to the camp is also available for Dh50. To contact Net Tours by telephone, call 02 679 4656. @Email:kattwood@thenational.ae