x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Night flea market will raise funds for Ethiopian children

The Sheraton Abu Dhabi will play host to an indoor flea market that will feature 97 tables filled with bargains.

Girls attend class in Aybaito, in Ethiopia’s Afar region. A flea market in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night, being held as part of the Road To Awareness charity initiative, aims to fund the education of 50,000 youngsters in the country.
Girls attend class in Aybaito, in Ethiopia’s Afar region. A flea market in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night, being held as part of the Road To Awareness charity initiative, aims to fund the education of 50,000 youngsters in the country.

ABU DHABI // Residents are being asked to help send 50,000 Ethiopian children to school by buying second-hand items at a flea market.

Wednesday night’s indoor event, at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort on the Corniche from 6pm, will have 97 tables offering bargain clothing, accessories, small furniture, children’s clothes and toys.

The event is part of Unicef’s Road to Awareness 2012 charity initiative, in association with the Sheraton’s parent group, Starwood Hotels and Resort Middle East.

They aim to raise enough money to send 50,000 children to primary school in Ethiopia. The Sheraton has raised more than Dh100,000 through table fees for five markets, including today’s event, said Martina Venus, the hotel’s public relations director.

The proceeds have gone to local and overseas charities.

Exhibitors at the market include the Make a Wish Foundation, Operation Smile UAE, Glorious Orphanage in Tanzania and a charity for abandoned pets in Abu Dhabi. Booking a table costs Dh250 but admission is free.

The hotel started hosting flea markets in September last year, with a second event in December.

“Although we were not sure whether a flea market could work indoors in a five-star hotel environment in a city where you only have bazaars, we decided to give it a try,” Ms Venus said. “We managed to educate the public on the idea of a second-hand market versus a handicraft bazaar.”

Emirati women will sell dresses, shoes and bags alongside expatriates offering clothes, household goods and electronics.

Two other flea markets were held in March and May. Proceeds from the former went to Operation Smile UAE, which provides free surgery to children with cleft palates, while funds from the latter bought basic items for 85 orphans in Arusha, Tanzania.

rruiz@thenational.ae