UAE: Pakistani expat refuses to believe 'dream home' win, grills caller at length

The Ajman resident wants to perform Umrah to express gratitude and seek blessings after the unexpected big win


Ajanta Paul

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Numan Khan Muhammad Bashir (right) with his family. Photo: Supplied
Numan Khan Muhammad Bashir (right) with his family. Photo: Supplied

Published: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 8:47 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Jan 2024, 2:41 PM

Numan Khan Muhammad Bashir is extremely cautious when receiving calls from unfamiliar numbers, and his vigilance peaked when a caller claimed him as the winner of a 'Dream Home'. The Pakistani national remained sceptical during the first call from an Al Ansari executive who announced him as the grand prize winner of the Winter Promotion 2023.

Talking to Khaleej Times, Numan said, "I am an IT professional; I deal with IT architecture, AI and Cloud innovation and am aware of the rampant scams. I was working from home when I got the first call and dismissed it, thinking it could be a scam. So, the executive told me that someone from the company would call me back."

Numan again got a call through a landline, and this time, the company's name blinked on his phone screen. Numan, uncertain about the legitimacy, interrogated the caller thoroughly. A marketing executive reassured him, furnished essential details, and even offered evidence on social media. Overwhelmed by the unexpected turn of events, the long-time UAE resident was speechless.

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"Only after verifying everything I shared the incredible news with my wife. I have faith in good deeds, humanity, and the blessings that come from helping others," said the expat who moved to the UAE 16 years ago.

He continued, "I am very thankful to Al Ansari for this prize. There were times when I engaged in banter with a sales executive at their branches, jokingly asking: 'When will I ever win?' to which he would reply, 'You will one day, keep hope.' And indeed, I won."

Al Ansari announced the grand prize winner of a Dream Home on Wednesday, January 10. The money exchange holds the right to award the Dream Home grand prize value in cash to the winner instead of the actual prize. Numan will be handed over Dh350,000 on Jan 11.

The Ajman resident commutes to Dubai daily for work and has been using Al Ansari exchange branches for the past decade, using their services to send money to his siblings back home. Since the mobile app launch, remitting has become convenient for Numan, who uses the app almost two to three times weekly.

Perform Umrah to express gratitude

After the unexpected windfall, Numan wants to perform Umrah to express gratitude and seek blessings. He said his wife, Eman Shireen, has consistently brought him good luck since their wedding, as did his five-month-old son Rayyan and eight-year-old daughter Fatima.

"In TikTok, they say, 'Habibi, come to Dubai.' To that, I'll add, 'Come and send money through Al Ansari,'" said the 'Dream Home' winner.

'Couldn't believe my luck'

The exchange also announced Mary Ann Labay as the winner of a BMW car on January 5.

The 37-year-old Filipina was shocked after getting the news. "I have been living in the UAE since 2010 and using their remittance services since my arrival. I couldn't believe my luck. All I could do was thank them profusely."

As a single mother, she supports her seven-year-old son's education in the Philippines. "I have no property back home, and I have a driving licence and a car here, so I will sell this brand-new car and use the money to build a home for me and my son."

The Deira resident will be handed over the car on January 11.

The Al Ansari Winter Promotion ran from October 1 to December 31, 2023. Remitters using Al Ansari Exchange Mobile App, branches, eExchange, online portal, or any qualifying transaction entered the draw to win a Dream Home, a brand-new BMW car, plus a Samsung Galaxy S23 (weekly).


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