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Doha, QATAR – Sports celebrities, past and present, will be among a host of international stars attending tomorrow’s official launch of the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ charity drive in Qatar to raise funds for the underprivileged and disadvantaged across Asia.The November 16 gala dinner in the Qatari capital Doha will include a live charity auction of items donated by international football clubs and soccer stars, as well as business houses.World Cup Final tickets, Formula One Grand Prix track passes, signed soccer shirts from Europe’s top clubs, memorabilia from three of the world’s best players, together with jewellery and a luxury apartment each worth more than $300,000, will be sold off by the renowned London auction house Sotheby’s at the Ritz-Carlton Doha.From the world of soccer, World Cup winning captains, France’s Marcel Desailly and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer – president of the 2006 World Cup Organising Committee – ex-Spanish international and Real Madrid star Fernando Hierro, former Brazilian international Sonny Anderson, Dutch World Cup stars – brothers Frank and Ronald de Boer – and Puerto Rican international Paulo Wanchope, will all be attending the launch gala dinner.In the athletics world, guests include International Olympic President Jacques Rogge, Olympic gold medalists Hicham El Gharouj, Nawal Moutkawel and American Edwin Moses, who held an unprecedented decade-long record of 122 consecutive races unbeaten.Also attending will be seven-times Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz, Olympian Nadia Comeneci, the most celebrated athlete in the history of gymnastics who became the first woman to score a perfect 10 on her way to winning three Gold medals, former worldjudo champion David Doulliet, five-times Tour de France winner cycling superstar Eddy Merckx and French international tennis player Richard Gasquet.
Qatar Foundation, Qatar Airways and the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) are spearheading the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ fund-raising drive. Doha-based Qatar Foundation will run and manage ‘Reach Out to Asia’ in line with the Foundation’s mission to promote education, science and community development in Qatar.The campaign is aimed at Qatar extending the hand of friendship and help to the many countries across the Asian continent which are experiencing serious social difficulties in terms of poverty, inadequate healthcare, homelessness, disease and natural disasters, such as last year’s devastating tsunami and recent earthquake in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.Over the next few weeks and months, the three organisations will work collectively to drive the fund-raising efforts, which will involve a series of high-profile events in Doha, including charity concerts and exclusive gala dinners – the first of which takes place on November 16.The launch event will be attended by personalities from the world of sport, showbusiness, politics and Royalty and will be the biggest of its kind ever held in Qatar.For the first time, there will ‘red carpet’ celebrity arrivals often associated with movie premieres. With Doha hosting the Asian Games in December 2006, Qatar’s focus on the Asian continent is more relevant than ever before.Canadian rock star Bryan Adams will be guest of honour at the launch and will perform a few of his songs on the night.Iranian stand-up comedian Omid Djalili, who is based in London, will be providing his own brand of humour at the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ launch event, which will also be attended by actor Jet Li, renowned for his martial arts films in Hollywood and across Asia.Celebrated lifestyle guru Colin Cowie, whose credits include arranging the 50th birthday party for Oprah Winfrey, has been brought in to oversee proceedings on the night – everything from organising the catering to flower arranging and seating plans, as well as preparing the ‘red carpet’ arrivals.Media personality Richard Quest, one of CNN’s most high profile news and business anchors and correspondents, will be the official Master of Ceremonies at the dinner.
Among the items being auctioned off on the night by Sotheby’s are:-
Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
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