Doha, QATAR – A staggering US$11.25 million was raised at the second Reach Out To Asia Gala Dinner in Doha with several exclusive items up for auction at the star-studded event held in the Qatari capital.
In the space of just an hour, seven exceptional lots ranging from the Golden Football, specially designed jewellery and ceramics donated by celebrities, to a Maserati car, classic Harley Davidson motorcycle and superbike, went under the hammer of London-based auction house Sotheby’s.
The generosity of some guests who successfully bid for the auction items saw selected lots put back into the auction for a second round of auctioning to drive up funds raised on the night. Money raised from the night easily surpassed the US$10 million raised at last year’s inaugural Reach Out To Asia Gala Dinner.
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final football fetched US$2.4million, while an iconic piece of jewellery designed by the prestigious fashion house Boucheron went for US$3.2million.
The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, graced the glittering occasion at The Ritz Carlton with his wife Sheikha Mozah. More than 500 guests attended the event, preceded by Hollywood-style red-carpet arrivals where Royalty and show business personalities mingled with guests from the sporting and business world.
The Gala Dinner was held under the auspices of The Heir Apparent, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose sister Her Excellency Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani chairs the non-profit making Reach Out To Asia initiative launched by the Qatar Foundation last year.
Mr Akbar Al Baker, whose company Qatar Airways is a strategic partner of Reach Out To Asia, delivered the keynote speech where he commended the work of Reach Out To Asia, which has raised around US$20 million since its formation 12 months ago.
He expressed his gratitude to Qatar Foundation and, in particular to Sheikha Mayassa, who has personally devoted her time and energy in making the charity the success it is today.
Reach Out To Asia was launched as a long-term charity initiative to raise much-needed funds for the disadvantaged and underprivileged across Asia. From building schools and providing medical supplies for last year’s Pakistan earthquake victims, to supporting the reconstruction efforts of South Asian countries affected by the tsunami disaster, Reach Out To Asia has extended its hand of friendship to those in need.
Sheikha Mayassa said afterwards: “I am delighted that this year’s Gala Dinner proved to be yet another success with more than US$11 million raised on the night thanks to the generosity of guests digging deep into their pockets to raise money for special projects across Asia.”
Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia rounded off the night with some of her hit songs and British stand-up comedian Omid Djalili kept guests entertained during the lavish evening. Guests included former England soccer managers Sven Goran Eriksson and Glenn Hoddle, together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, fashion designer Pierre Cardin, and Middle East celebrities Carmen Lebbos, Lotfi Boushnak and Kadhem Al Sahir.
Supermodel Adriana Karembeu, with her husband Christian Karembeu, British television personality Cilla Black, 2006 Superbike champion Troy Bayliss and legendary five-times Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx were also present.
CNN International news anchorman Richard Quest was the Master of Ceremonies
The evening’s event was sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan Bank. Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar Airways, is a strategic partner of Reach Out To Asia.
Details of the Auction which raised US$11.25million for Reach Out To Asia
- 2006 FIFA World Cup Final football fetched US$2.4 million. Donated by Mohammed bin Hammam. Bought by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani for Aspire Academy
- White Gold Vine jewellery set designed and donated by Boucheron fetched US$3.2million. Bought by Sheikh Abdulla Al Thani, then reauctioned to Issa abu Issa (of Salam International)
- Dinner at Maxims with Pierre Cardin donated by the fashion designer; celebrity ceramics donated by personalities including Sir Richard Branson, Nicole Kidman and George Clooney; limited edition Harry Winston timepiece donated by Al Fardan Jewellery fetched US$450,000. Bought by Qtel
- Collier Delilah Trouble specially-designed jewellery set by Boucheron fetched US$1.6 million. Bought by Sheikh Nawaf of Nasser bin Khaled
- Classic Harley Davidson motorcycle signed by Hollywood star Patrick Swayze fetched US$800,000. Bought by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
- Italian Luxury on Wheels – Maserati Quattroporte GT Sedan car and trip to Italy donated by Al Fardan; Ferrari package day out with Ferrari Formula 1 Team donated by Jean Todt at Ferrari fetched US$2.5million. Bought by Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, then Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani
- VIP hospitality package of trip to FIA European Drag Racing Championship donated by Keith Bartlett, Chairman of Trakbak Racing; Ducati 999R Superbike signed by 2006 World Champion Troy Bayliss fetched US$300,000. Bought by Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa Al Thani
To donate to the Reach Out To Asia fund-raising drive, pledges can be made to the following account:-
Qatar National Bank, Doha, Qatar
Account: Reach Out To Asia
Account Number: 0035-004919-001
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
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