Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon turn out to support Dubai Cares and ‘Artists for Peace and Justice’ at BOVET 1822 ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ gala in Dubai, raising ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’.
Auctioned items include an artwork by British artist Sacha Jafri, finished live at the event with the assistance of Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Sarah Ferguson, Madeleine Stowe and Caroline Stanbury securing the highest bid, a series of money-can’t-buy celebrity ‘experiences’ including a Golden Globes experience and the opportunity to meet Sean Penn and afternoon tea with the Duchess of York in London, a bespoke trips to Seychelles & the French Alps and painting by Faiza Shaikha.
The Bovet 1822 ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ gala took place in Dubai for the first time on Friday December 7, hosting a successful event in the Grand Millennium Business Bay Hotel to benefit Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) and Dubai Cares. Leading the talent line-up for the event were Hollywood stars and APJ co-chairs Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon.
Last year’s Brilliant is Beautiful Gala held in London raised a sum of over half a million pounds.
The ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ gala was presented and sponsored again APJ’s passionate, dedicated long term partner Pascal Raffy, Owner of Bovet 1822, along with the support of Fete Events, Etihad Airways and NearEast Entertainment. The event was hosted by international stars Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York, Madeleine Stowe and Caroline Stanbury at the black-tie charity evening, with Kris Fade emceeing the event. The event was attended by local identities, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists who bid generously.
During the evening, Marchelle Sellers, CEO of Artists for Peace and Justice, introduced the audience to the crucial education initiatives the charity supports in Peru, Uganda, Haiti, India, including the ‘Iqra Fund’, which provides access to quality education for children, especially girls, in the most remote tribal regions of Pakistan by partnering with tribal communities.
Commenting on the first Dubai edition of the ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ gala, Sellers said after the event: “We have found so many friends here in Dubai who are very incredibly supportive of young women’s education and leadership initiatives. It has been incredible partnering together with Dubai Cares on this special evening and on future events. Also, we can’t thank Bovet 1822 enough for their years of support. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”
Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, partnered with APJ for the debut of ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ in Dubai. Commenting on this partnership, His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “We are very pleased with this new partnership with Artists for Peace and Justice and with the outcome of this evening. The vital funds raised will help us expand our reach and touch the lives of the most underprivileged children and young people, particularly girls, through education. We look forward to witnessing our donor community continue to support education and our work, to enable us to help children flourish and initiate long-lasting change in their communities.”
APJ co-chairs, Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon, gave heartfelt speeches before the charity auction got underway, and guests were treated to performances of smash-hit radio staple from Australian singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia and a stunning performance by local performer Layla Kardan. Hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars was raised from the charity auction, with an artwork by British artist Sacha Jafri, finished live at the event with the assistance of Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Sarah Ferguson, Madeleine Stowe and Caroline Stanbury securing the highest bid.
Honorary awards were given to businessman, philanthropist and owner of Grand Millennium Hotels Riad Al Sadik and the Duchess of York for their philanthropic pursuits. Ben Stiller presented Riad Al Sadik with the APJ Humanitarian Award for his continuous contribution to philanthropic causes in Palestine, the UAE and further afield, with a strong focus on educational causes. Susan Sarandon meanwhile honoured the Duchess of York with the APJ ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ Award for her decades of charity work including 25 years helming her Children in Crisis.
Dubai-based socialite and reality television star Caroline Stanbury, who helmed London editions of ‘Brilliant is Beautiful’ before bringing the event Dubai, spoke powerfully of her experiences with the charity in Haiti. Since the 2010 earthquake APJ has provided scholarships for 4000 high-school and college students, creating one of Haiti’s largest schools.
In addition to the Sacha Jafri painting, a series of money-can’t-buy celebrity ‘experiences’ were auctioned off to generous bidders at the event’s live auction, including a Golden Globes experience and the opportunity to meet Sean Penn and afternoon tea with the Duchess of York in London. Other lots included a bespoke trips to Seychelles & the French Alps and painting by Faiza Shaikha.