Star Longoria shines at charity gala for vulnerable women in Dubai
More than 350 guests turned out to support a fundraiser hosted by Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria on Saturday.
The star’s Global Gift Gala dinner and auction – at the Supperclub at the Zabeel Saray resort on the Palm Jumeirah – was in support of her Global Gift Foundation.
Guests paid up to Dh2,500 to attend the event, held in collaboration with the Noor Dubai Foundation, which aimed to raise money to help vulnerable women and children internationally.
At the gala, Longoria presented Grammy-winning singer Ricky Martin with a Global Gift Humanitarian Award.
“It’s a privilege to honour my dear friend,” she said. “He has been someone I’ve admired and respected for years for his endless commitment on ending the exploitation of children.”
A live auction took place after courses of king crab soup and fillet of Angus beef, with a limited-edition Montegrappa pen proving a popular lot.
Guests also reached for their paddles for a chance at a personal experience with the glamorous host. A Dubai-based couple paid US$45,000 to jet off to Marbella, Spain and spend time with the actress while attending one of her European Global Gift Gala dinners.
Other prizes snapped up included a trip to Jumeirah’s two resorts in the Maldives for $15,000; and a retired polo pony which sold for $14,000.
A surprise guest was the American rapper 50 Cent, who took to the stage and apologised for his casual appearance of an all-black ensemble, leather cap and gold medallion.
“They just told me to get down here. Eva needs you!” he told the audience before auctioning a pair of autographed wireless headphones to the Lebanese singer Haifa for $15,000.
Before carriages at midnight, entertainment from Haifa and American singer-songwriter Maxwell rounded off the evening.
This was the first event of its kind in the country hosted by Longoria’s foundation.
Over the past year, Longoria has raised more than US$3 million (Dh11m) through similar galas in France, Marbella, and London.
Locations scheduled for next year include Los Angeles, Miami and Mexico City.
The activist revealed it was a personal experience that heightened her awareness of children with disabilities.
“My sister Elizabeth has special needs. She’s an amazing human being and the light of our family’s lives,” Longoria said. “From an early age, the family volunteered at the Special Olympics and the Boys and Girls club.
“It was really amazing to grow up with somebody less fortunate because it taught us how to be a selfless family and how to come together to support each other.”
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Updated: December 14, 2013 04:00 AM