x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Dubai finance chief makes a fine gesture to win gold iPad

Felipe Florez-Arango made winning bid for 24-carat rose gold tablet computer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Felipe Florez-Arango with his 24-carat rose gold iPad after winning an auction to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
Felipe Florez-Arango with his 24-carat rose gold iPad after winning an auction to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

DUBAI // The cause, not the prize, drove Felipe Florez-Arango to make the winning bid for a 24-carat rose gold iPad.

Mr Florez-Arango, a Colombian-American, had set his heart on owning the ultra-luxury gadget when it went up for auction on the Burj Al Arab's Facebook page as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

However, he remained tightlipped about how much he paid for the 16GB tablet.

"For me it isn't about the iPad but the fact that the money raised will be going to such a good cause," said Mr Florez-Arango, who lives in Dubai and is head of finance for a pharmaceutical company. "To be honest I'm not sure what I'll do with it because I already have an iPad."

He was determined to win the bid after having first-hand experience of the impact cancer can have on not only the lives of those suffering with the disease but also their families.

"My grandfather died of cancer in 1998 just months after it was diagnosed," he said. "Fortunately, before his death, I managed to spend some time with him so in that respect I was lucky."

Mr Florez-Arango's mother was also given a late diagnosis of cancer when he was nine.

"Fortunately she survived after she had the tumour removed. She's in her 60s now and even now I have to think how amazing it is she is still here because doctors at the time didn't give her much of a chance."

Two other family members also had breast cancer but are in remission after radiotherapy and chemotherapy. "I think the big thing that people need to understand is that cancers are survivable if they are detected early enough."

Heirich Morio, general manager of Burj Al Arab, said the hotel had a long-standing relationship with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The hotel has been lighting its iconic sail pink with a projection of the campaign's pink ribbon logo.

The rose gold iPad was made by Gold & Co London and features a pink ribbon and the hotel's logo engraved on the back.

nhanif@thenational.ae