Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has raised approximately one million dirhams to support the ‘We Care Yemen’ campaign and has helped renovate two schools in Kenya as part of the airline’s annual charity fundraising in cooperation with the UAE Red Crescent.
The donation was announced during the closing ceremony of the World Aviation Football Cup and the Food & Fashion Festival, organised by Etihad Airways’ Sports and Social Committee, held at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort.
The football teams of 28 international airline and aviation groups participated in the event, which included a wide range of activities such as henna painting, musical entertainment, a ballet, and costume competitions. Etihad Airways provided prizes of a safari package to Kenya for the first winner and also for the runner-up.
Khaled Al Mehairbi, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Government and Aero Political Affairs, who also serves as Chairman of the Sports and Social Committee, said: “As the UAE’s national airline, we are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to society and give back to those in need. We are delighted to collaborate with the UAE Red Crescent to serve and support these causes.
“We extend our thanks to our guests, sponsors and suppliers who participated in the generous fund raising programs during 2015 in support of those in need. Collectively, we have given a glimmer of hope and the chance of a better future to our brothers and sisters in Yemen and Kenya.”
The opening ceremony was led by the UAE National Deaf Youth Orchestra. The show also included performances by Salah the Entertainer, the winner of Arabs Got Talent 2015, Hamza Hawaswi, the winner of X Factor 2015, and the American singer, Dynasty. A kids’ ballet show by Abu Dhabi-based Fusion Arts was another highlight of the event.
Charitable donations for Yemen were collected through various initiatives including the donation of Etihad Guest Miles online, an Etihad garage sale, through the Etihad football league, the donation of new school bags and stationery to Yemeni children by Etihad Airways staff, and cash donations at the Emirates Red Crescent collection boxes.
The airline’s initiatives to support the ‘Yemen We Care’ campaign and Kenya are part of an earlier agreement on humanitarian and social cooperation between Etihad Airways and Emirates Red Crescent.
The community event was attended by Her Excellency Khadija Issa Yusuf, Kenyan Ambassador to the UAE, Mr Humaid R Al-Shamsi, Deputy Secretary General for International Aid of Emirates Red Crescent, Dr Khawla Salem Al Saaedi, President’s Representative of Women and Health Alliance International.
Also attending were and Secretary General of Her Excellency Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi, Head of Special Needs Sector at Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), Hamad Alhosani, Domestic Promotion Executive of TCA Abu Dhabi, and Mohammad Ali Khilji, General Manager of Axiom UAE.
Etihad Airways was represented by Peter Baumgartner Chief Commercial Officer, Khaled Al Mehairbi, Senior Vice President Government and Aero Political Affairs Ali Al Shamsi, Vice President Abu Dhabi Hub, Oliver Iffert, Vice President Flight Operations, and Geert Boven Senior Vice President Airport Services.
In 2015, Etihad Airways was able to raise donations of Etihad Guest miles, relief goods and cash donations worth over three million dirhams.
The two-day social event was held in collaboration with Emirates Red Crescent, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi media, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Time Hotels, Joyful Women Organization, Al Ain Water, Bottega Verde, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Axiom UAE, Sebamed, Fusion Arts, Gabs, Pierre Fabre, Yas Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, Novotel Al Bustan, Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, One to One Hotels & Resorts, Yas Waterworld, Al Borg Medical Laboratories, Al Jaber Optical, Mikura Pearls, Conrad Dubai, Absolute Dry, Zartux, and Tilal Liwa Hotel.