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The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Ministers, senior government officials and other dignitaries pose for a group picture at the 8th Social Development Centre (SDC) Charity Gala Dinner at the Qatar National Convention Centre, yesterday.
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: A pair of glasses of the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani fetched QR2.4m, making it the most expensive item auctioned at the 8th Social Development Centre (SDC) Charity Gala Dinner at the Qatar National Convention Centre last night.
The spectacles which the Emir was wearing when he arrived at the event was bought by someone the auctioneer, Lord Mark Poltimore of Sotheby’s, wittily called a person who wished to share the Emir’s great ‘vision’.
H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Ministers, senior government officials and public figures also attended the Brazilian-themed gala night, which featured a series of short films and exciting musical and artistic performances.
The dinner raised QR7.8m from eight lots, including a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi (QR2m), a Cobra Recreation car (QR1.6m), a Brazilian FR Hueb 18-carat tribal bracelet (QR450,000), a King Fuad antique plate (QR350,000), FC Barcelona jersey and ball signed by the team plus four VIP tickets to a Barcelona game (QR600,000), a classic jersey and photo signed by Brazilian football legend Pelé (QR300,000) and four Formula 1 Paddock VIP tickets (QR100,000).
Proceeds will benefit SDC’s entrepreneurial programmes, including Tanmiya which supports small and medium enterprises; RASAMEEL funds to support entrepreneurs; Badr..Wa Int Gadr, which offers full entrepreneurship support to individuals and families; Reyada – the Qatari Entrepreneur Award — which honours Qatari entrepreneurs, individuals and organisations that support entrepreneurial ventures and a new programme for young Qatari entrepreneurs.
The ‘Living Brazil’ event reinforces some of the common strategic goals and ties that bind Qatar and Brazil such as hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting events, promoting global environmental change and strengthening economic co-operation.
SDC showcased its events and activities, followed by performances, including a freestyle football performance by Brazilian and Qatari entertainers, an acapella group and an enthralling show by Brazilian Fantasy dance troupe.
“We feel a great sense of pride today, as we host our 8th Gala Dinner and enjoy the presence many of Qatar’s influential decision-makers and professionals. Over 15 years, SDC has led the way in catering to the individual and business needs of communities in Qatar,” said Dr. Nora bint Ali Al Hanzab, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, SDC.
“As the main social development branch of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, we have the Qatar National Vision 2030 at the heart of SDC’s social awareness campaigns, social studies and research, career counselling services and loans and funding initiatives.
“This Gala Dinner will help us enhance our entrepreneurial programmes and, as a result, encourage a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar,” she said.
Bart Cahir, President and General Manager, ExxonMobil in Qatar, said: “We feel honoured to join hands yet again with an organisation like SDC to host their 8th Gala Dinner.
“SDC’s Gala Dinner is more than just a prominent charity event – it is the center’s way to support entrepreneurship, which plays a crucial role in developing Qatari society and economy.
“Through this positive initiative, we are pleased to support SDC’s objective of building stable and self-reliant families in Qatar.”
SDC is known for its themed gala dinners, characterised by spectacular performances and displays alluding to wonders such as the Indian culture, the grandeur of the Venice Carnival, the romance of Andalusia and the rich ancient Iraqi civilisation.