Dubai: Indian expat wins $1 million after 33 years of buying raffle tickets

Another lucky participant, a South African national, won a luxury car for the second time this year


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 5:40 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Dec 2022, 2:17 PM

Safir Ahamed, a 76-year-old Indian expat based in Dubai, has been buying raffle tickets for the Dubai Duty Free promotions since 1989. On Tuesday — more than three decades later — his biggest dream finally came true: He won $1 million (Dh3.67 million).

The father of three, who ran his own company that supplies fire protection systems, was over the moon to hear that he was now a millionaire.

“Thank you Dubai Duty Free! This money will really go a long way,” said the expat who has been living in the emirate for 46 years now.

Besides Ahamed, another Indian national bagged the other $1-million raffle prize for the draw conducted on the 39th anniversary of Dubai Duty Free (DDF).

Roymiranda Rollent, based in India, became a dollar millionaire with ticket number 1946, which he purchased on November 29 on his way to Trivandrum. Rollent cannot be reached at the moment, organisers said.

Rollent and Ahamed are the 201st and 202nd Indian nationals, respectively, to have won $1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. Indian nationals make up the highest number of Millennium Millionaire ticket buyers.


As DDF marked its anniversary, it welcomed passengers travelling through Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airports with a special 25 per cent discount on a wide range of merchandise over three days, from December 17 to 20.

“The anniversary celebrations spread over three days are fantastic. and we are glad to see such positive sales results across all the concourses at both airports. Extending a 25 per cent discount to our customers is our way of saying thank you for their support throughout the year," said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO of DDF.

Lucky participant wins twice in a year

Following the Millennium Millionaire., four luxury vehicle winners were also unveiled at the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise draw.

Kenneth Francis Robertson, a 56-year-old South African national based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won an Audi A8L 3.0 (Terra Gray Metallic) car.

A regular participant in the Dubai Duty Free promotion since 1989, Robertson previously won a Mercedes Benz S500 car in August 2022.

"This is unbelievable! Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen to me twice in a year. Thank you for making 2022 my best year yet. I love you, Dubai Duty Free; you’re the best," he said.


Meanwhile, Karim Samman, a 37-year-old German national based in Cologne, Germany, won a Bentley Continental GT V8 (Glacier White).

A regular participant in the Dubai Duty Free promotion since 2008, Mr. Samman is a father of two and ran a frozen food business.

Khadka G.B., a Nepali national based in Dubai, won a BMW F 900 R (Bluestone Metallic) motorbike, with ticket number 0329 in Finest Surprise Series 524, which he purchased in the airport.

Lastly, Arnaz Sapna Ashraf, a 50-year-old Indian national based in Dubai won a Harley-Davidson Nightster (Gunship Grey) motorbike, with ticket number 0833 in Finest Surprise Series 525, which she purchased in the airport on her way to Hyderabad.

“Shukran Dubai Duty Free! Winning in your promotion is the best feeling ever; thank you for making my day extra special,” she said.

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