Visitors at the Charity Flea Market held at Sheraton Hotel in Abu Dhabi. - Photo By Ryan Lim
Abu Dhabi - About 95 vendors exhibited their secondhand and new items at this popular charity flea market
A housewife selling off her valuable ring, at a giveaway price, because it didn't fit her well was one of the vendors at the charity flea market held over the weekend.
Hundreds of resident-shoppers gathered at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Resort flea market yesterday to buy the pre-owned items at the biggest and oldest flea markets in the Capital. Among the items were paintings, designer wears for women, men and children, bags, shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, towels, carpets, books, kitchen utensils and many others.
"It is my first time to sell things at such a market," said Menna Abdei-Ghany, an Egyptian housewife and one of the vendors who exhibited their items in the hotel's Arzanah ballroom. "I was so excited about this indoor flea market since a friend told me." On her table were about a dozen of jewellery items including necklaces, bracelets, a ring, designer dresses and paintings. "These are my belongings that I no longer use," said Abdei-Ghany. "I bought this ring at Dh300 a few months ago, but it didn't fit me well. I am now giving it away for Dh30."
She said the most expensive items she had on her table was a set of paintings, a gift given by her friend. "They are such amazing drawings and I can only sell them at Dh150," she said.
Raymond Tay, a 29-year-old Ghanaian national who is in the Capital on a three-month work contract, said that he saw the charity market advertised on Facebook a few weeks ago.
"I had to mark it on my calendar after seeing that there would be cheap items on sale," said Tay. "I have bought amazing stuff, about 20 items, including clothes and shoes for my wife and children, all at only Dh250. It is such a fantastic market."
Another shopper, Bipo Gomez, 32, a Filipino accountant said he is a regular shopper of the charity flea market because it has good items at better bargains. "I have bought nice pre-owned branded trousers and shirts at Dh5 each," he said. "I really like this market because I get better bargains. This is my fourth time at the charity market."
Muna Ayade, a 45-year-old French teacher, 45, had displayed about 50 items including dresses, jackets and shoes from her wardrobe to sell them at the market. "I have only branded items. I have the culture of selling away my old things and replace them with new ones," she said. "It's my first time to bring things here for sale and what I have realised is that shoppers want very cheap things. For instance, I bought a pair of shoes at Dh1,000 and I am selling it for Dh500. It's still in good condition but no one wants to buy it."
Yves Tarabout, deputy general manager of Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort said: "Our charity flea markets have been running for a number of years. It has quickly become a sought-after event and it remains an incredibly popular date in our calendar. It is no longer just a charity fundraiser; it has developed into a community occasion."
About 95 vendors exhibited their secondhand and new items at this popular charity flea market in town which is held three to four times a year. The all-day event is a fun-filled family event, and the proceeds collected from the sale are donated to charities that work to improve the lives of impoverished children around the world. The entry was free while each exhibitor table cost Dh285.