About Dh100,000 were raised during the evening’s auctions, and the rest came from tickets sales for the dinner, as well as donations.
During the evening, several paintings were auctioned, as well as a fun package, including a limo ride, an overnight stay in a suite at Yas Hotel and two Pier Lannier men’s watches.
In addition, Shaikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, donated several vintage items, which were auctioned.
“Usually, we would also have an entertaining programme during the gala dinner, but this time, because of the passing away of Shaikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and some of our guests still being in mourning, we decided against any music or entertainment,” Mowfaq Mustafa, director and board member of Future Centre told Khaleej Times.
Around 450 guests took part in the gala dinner, which also coincided with the departure of Edward Oakden, the British ambassador to the UAE.
Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who was present at the event, took the opportunity to say a few farewell words.
“Mr. Ambassador, as you prepare to leave the United Arab Emirates, I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge and applaud your outstanding efforts to strengthen the long tradition of collaboration between Britain and the United Arab Emirates,” said Shaikh Nahyan.
“I also wish to thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for your significant contributions to the Future Centre,” he added.
For nearly eight years, the British embassy in Abu Dhabi has allowed Future Centre to use its premises for the annual gala dinner, the most vital fundraiser of the year for the institution, which relies on donations to exist.
Shaikh Nahyan also thanked contributors for allowing the Future Centre to carry on its work, and highlighted its success.
“Four of our senior students, in fact, are contributing employees at diverse companies; one is employed with Abu Dhabi Finance, two work in printing and advertising agencies in Mussafah, while one serves in Saudi Arabia as a safety supervisor for a construction company,” he pointed out.
The money raised during the gala dinner will be used for the Centre’s daily expenses, including the rent of the current building.
According to Shaikh Nahyan, designs are now complete for a new building for the Centre, funded by the Abu Dhabi Government. — firstname.lastname@example.org
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