• Taking place on 23 January, 2020 at Emirates Palace
• Held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance
• Held in benefit of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon
• UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Helena Christensen and UNHCR High Profile Supporter Kat Graham to attend
United Arab Emirates; January 12, 2020: Following the success of the inaugural 2019 ball, Abu Dhabi based collective Sawtouna is hosting this year’s event with the aim of helping to cover primary healthcare for 74,000 Syrian refugee women and children displaced in Lebanon. Taking place on Thursday 23 January at the prestigious Emirates Palace, the Abu Dhabi Dream Ball 2020 will be held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance, in benefit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
A key annual event in the UAE capital’s social calendar featuring a star-studded gala dinner attended by high profile guests, Abu Dhabi Dream Ball 2020 will welcome UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Danish model and photographer Helena Christensen, and UNHCR High Profile Supporter Swiss-born American actress and singer Kat Graham. Other special guests include UK fashion designer Alice Temperley and CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward.
Live performances on the night include Umm Kulthum’s great niece Sana’a Nabil who will perform songs from The West End Musical 'Umm Kulthum & The Golden Era.' Also performing on stage is world-renowned Argentinian pianist Raúl Di Blasio, and Arab's Got Talent winners Mayyas Dance Group.
Hosted by Harper’s Bazaar Arabia Editor Rosemin Madhavji, the glamorous evening will also feature a live auction supported by British auction house, Christie’s. Valuable pieces of art from donating galleries Leila Heller and Third Line will be presented on the night.
“It is Sawtouna’s mandate to maximise the potential of women and children through the support of key charities and foundations both in the region and internationally, and that’s why Abu Dhabi Dream Ball was created. This annual gala aims to make a real difference to the lives of refugee women and children in the Middle East. We are extremely fortunate to work with organisations and individuals who dedicate their time and resources to support us in our mission. This year, we hope to see more children with healthier bodies that will allow them to play, learn, and fulfil their dreams. We’re raising funds that will help safeguard not only the lives of children who are provided with a sustainable healthcare programbut also the lives of the overall community; as well as treat and prevent potential health problems during pregnancy that will benefit both mother and child,” says Nadine Maalouf, founder of Sawtouna and co-chair of the Abu Dhabi Dream Ball Committee.
According to UNHCR, the impact of the Syrian crisis has been profound on Lebanon which hosts close to 1 million registered Syrian refugees. Without adequate access to health care, refugees could find themselves at increased risk of deteriorating health status and distress. Healthcare expenses represent the third biggest expenditure for Syrian refugee households, after food and rent.
Funds raised at the Abu Dhabi Dream Ball 2020 will support UNHCR Lebanon to increase access to primary healthcare of 74,000 refugees through subsidised consultations and investigations at 10 primary health care facilities in Lebanon. The healthcare programme consists of preventive and curative consultations such as routine childhood vaccination, antenatal care for pregnant women, and essential medication for acute disorders, as well as drugs for chronic illnesses, and even mental health services for a small administrative fee.
“Through this gala and the efforts of our title sponsor, Etihad Airways and partners ITP, Sawtouna and Harper’s Bazaar, we hope to raise much-needed funds for healthcare programmes for refugee children and women in Lebanon. The health sector remains one of our most essential areas of intervention in Lebanon, but it is critically underfunded, and the needs of refugees are vast. Therefore, the role of the larger community, including the private sector, media, private philanthropic initiatives and individuals is essential to make an impact. This gala is one example of such a collaboration which we are glad to be a part of,” said Houssam Chahin, Chief of Private Sector Partnerships at UNHCR MENA.
The inaugural event in 2019, held in benefit of UNICEF, raised close to USD 1 million for the education of over 5,000 refugee children in Jordan. The ball helped to provide children, women and adolescents affected by the Syria refugee crisis with gender-responsive services, skills and opportunities to fulfil their rights so they can achieve their hopes and dreams. This was done through access to inclusive learning, increase enrolment and school retention; protection against violence for women and children; and skill development and social cohesion.
Abu Dhabi Dream Ball 2020 is held in conjunction with our title sponsor, Etihad Airways, partners ITP Media Group, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Flash Entertainment, and Evolution Events.