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Dubai: Meet Emirati who went from selling DSF tickets to announcing winners of raffles worth millions

In 2000, Abdulla Al Ameeri was given the go-ahead and he went live for the first time during Dubai Summer Surprises at Modesh World



Abdulla Al Ameeri (R) announcing name of winners at a raffle draw. Photo: Supplied
Abdulla Al Ameeri (R) announcing name of winners at a raffle draw. Photo: Supplied

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 24 Jan 2022, 11:48 AM

Abdulla Al Ameeri began his career with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) as a coordinator selling ticket from a kiosk in Deira's Rigga Street in 1999. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and the Emirati is the Director of Raffles and Promotions at Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE).

He is the man you see on stage every night during DSF make announcements that change people's lives and fortunes overnight.

"When I first started, the DSF raffle draws were held in the Dubai TV studios, and it was actually my suggestion to change the set-up and make it a huge live stage event," said Al Ameeri.

"And in the summer of 2000, I was given the go-ahead and went live for the first time during Dubai Summer Surprises at Modesh World."

Ever since, Al Ameeri has been announcing the winners of life-changing prizes given out throughout DFRE's raffles calendar that features 1,000 promotions annually.

"Honestly, the best part of my job is being part of a team that really does change people's lives," he said. "I remember all of the stories of the people who win, and the prizes do have a real impact."

From lifting people out of debilitating debt to securing the future of entire families, Al Ameeri has seen it all. "It is a joy to be a part of people's happiness. It's an indescribable feeling."

During the current edition of DSF, January alone has seen prizes worth Dh30 million given away to people.

"There is a huge operation and mechanism behind the raffles that nobody sees," he said. "A team of roughly 800 people work very hard to run Dubai's raffles operation, controlling tickets, coupons, selections, sales, and so much more – it really is a significant undertaking."

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When Al Ameeri takes to the stage every night at 9pm during DSF at Global Village, he has been briefed and debriefed by the team with hourly reports throughout the day.

"I've been in this business for nearly 27 years, and I can say there is nowhere else in the world where life-changing prizes are given away every single day," said Al Ameeri. "Honestly, I've never seen it, and this reality you will never find anywhere else."

Even Al Ameeri needs to stop to catch his breath sometimes. "I'm very glad that even throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to immediately switch to digital, enabling us never to stop the raffles. And today, seeing what the city has achieved with Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai Shopping Festival, Global Village and more, even myself, as a UAE National, I am in awe."

sahim@khaleejtimes.com


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