'It's 100% cash': Dubai shopper wins Dh1 million

The lucky winner said he will invest in property, while the rest will 'go to my brothers and sisters in Palestine'


Angel Tesorero

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Bassem El Tibi. KT photo: Angel Tesorero
Bassem El Tibi. KT photo: Angel Tesorero

Published: Tue 6 Feb 2024, 6:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 6 Feb 2024, 10:30 PM

A 50-year Dubai resident, who is a self-confessed shopaholic, could not believe his luck that his frequent visits to the malls has made him a millionaire.

Wearing white shirt and blue jeans, Bassem El Tibi was grinning from ear to ear holding a symbolic Dh1 million cheque that he received on Tuesday from Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) malls. He is the lone winner of the ‘Biggest Prize of the Year' draw by MAF as part of the recently concluded Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). It was the first time that MAF malls rewarded a grand prize winner in cash instead of the usual Share Reward points.

“It’s 100 per cent cash,” an ecstatic Bassem told Khaleej Times, adding he will not splurge on shopping this time but will be “more judicious” in spending the huge prize money.

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Without giving further details, Bassem, a British citizen who is originally from Lebanon, said: “I will invest the money – partially – to buy a property and the rest will go to my brothers and sisters in Palestine.”

Bassem works as director of special projects and governance in Abu Dhabi but lives with his family in Mirdif. His favourite mall is the neighbouring City Centre Mirdif.

'Always scanned the receipts'

Bassem could not remember what he bought that made him win in the draw but said he usually shopped for clothes, electronics, groceries and food. “And I always scanned the receipts to make me eligible for the draw,” he added.

The millionaire campaign ran during DSF from December 8 to January 14. The prize was co-invested by Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, and customers who spent minimum of Dh300 – whether single or cumulative – at any of the stores in Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me’aisem and City Centre Al Shindagha.

Suspicious the first time

Bassem said he was suspicious the first time he received a call from MAF last month saying he won Dh1 million. “I used to receive a lot of prank and scam calls. But MAF called again and they explained to me that I really won. It took me another day to finally believe that luck found me,” he added.

He also wished shoppers good luck next time they visit the malls and there is a draw. “As for me, I became lucky because of my positive attitude and the plans I will do with the money,” Bassem added.


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