x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ruby phones and Diana's autograph on sale to help children's centre

An autographed portrait of Muammar Qaddafi is also on the block.

An autographed picture of Diana, Princess of Wales, was among the items on the auction block to raise money children with special needs.
An autographed picture of Diana, Princess of Wales, was among the items on the auction block to raise money children with special needs.

DUBAI // Six ruby-set mobile phones inscribed with a picture of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, are being auctioned to help raise money for children with special needs.

The limited edition Vertu handsets have a .25 carat ruby for a navigation key and bidding will start at Dh60,000.

The phones are part of a collection of more than 40 items - including celebrity cast-offs, autographed pictures and jewellery - that will go under the gavel next month to raise funds for the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre.

A sample phone will be on display at the Dubai Mall this week to raise awareness about the auction.

Another high-value item is a Dh37,000 diamond-encrusted pendant from the British jeweller Boodles.

Other collector's items on offer include a single football boot autographed by Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo and a glove autographed by the boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Portraits of Adolf Hitler and Muammar Qaddafi are also on the block.

The autographed picture of the former Libyan leader has him dressed in white and comes with a signed letter confirming its authenticity.

Abdel Rahman Tahboub, the media adviser to the Rashid centre, said the letter was written in green ink.

"Like him or loathe him, Qaddafi was an interesting leader," added Mr Tahboub. "That is why we believe there will still be interest in the piece."

There are also photographs signed by Diana, Princess of Wales, and Elvis Presley in the collection.

"The aim of the auction is to strengthen the centre and enable it to open new classes and upgrade existing sections," said Mariam Othman, the director of the Rashid centre.

The auction will be held at the Madinat Jumeirah hotel on January 16 and will be conducted by auctioneers from Christie's.

rtalwar@thenational.ae