Abu Dhabi's only flea market will be held on September 19. Proceeds from the event will go to Unicef.
Abu Dhabi - On September 19, UAE residents can take all their unwanted items to sell in the second hand market in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi's only flea market is back. Usually taking place once every three months, Sheraton hotel's charity flea market was put on hold six months ago, when the Abu Dhabi government imposed new rules on charity fund-raising here for security reasons.
On September 19, UAE residents can take all their unwanted items to sell in the second hand market.
Sheraton hotel is charging Dh285 for booking a stand, with a Dh40 discount thrown in if booked before September 5. All the money raised from these bookings will go to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).
"Our charity flea markets have been running for a number of years. It has quickly become a sought-after event and ... remains an incredibly popular date in our calendar," said Yves Tarabout, deputy general manager of the hotel.
"Sheraton is part of the Starwood group and Starwood got the green light from the government to raise money for Unicef," Tarabout told Khaleej Times.
Starwood group has been working with Unicef since 1995. During this time, the hotel group has supported Unicef projects in more than 40 countries worldwide, raising $30 million in funds.
The cash raised from the charity flea market will go towards supporting Unicef's 'WASH' project, providing clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities for children and their families across Africa and the Middle East. The hotel hopes to raise over Dh20,000 from the flea market, as it expects its Arzanah ballroom space - where the event will take place - to be fully booked.
"There are 90 to 95 exhibitor stands at each flea market and hundreds of visitors. We hope that the community's overwhelming support remains unwavering and we will have the opportunity to welcome our regular friends as well as new visitors," said Tarabout. Exhibitors may sell any unwanted items they own as long as they are in good condition - from clothes and children toys to jewellery and electronics.
"As long as it is legal to sell in the UAE, they may bring it for the flea market. Food items, though, will not be allowed," he said. Since this is a second hand market, and not an arts and crafts bazaar, handicrafts stands are discouraged.
Hugely popular in the Western world, second hand markets are still rare in the UAE. Sheraton's charity flea market is the only one in Abu Dhabi.
Local charity organisations such as Operation Smile use the flea market to raise money and awareness for their own charity work. It also serves as a social get-together venue for the local communities.
"The flea market is no longer just a charity fund-raiser but has developed into a community occasion that brings people together," said Tarabout. Open from 9am till 3pm, the flea market is free to attend for visitors.- email@example.com