Dubai: Emirati designers have come together once again to host a charity fashion exhibition for a cause. The four-day ‘Designs for hope’ exhibition, which was held at Dubai Ladies Club on July 15, raised Dh500,000 in support of the UAE Water Aid initiative (UAE Suqia).
The initiative was recently launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the aim of providing five million people in developing countries with improved access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation.
In its second edition, the exhibition featured collections from 16 Emirati fashion labels, where each designer donated several pieces that were sold for Dh1,000 regardless of their original value. All proceeds from the event will be given to the water aid initiative.
Last year’s fashion exhibition raised Dh300,000 to help prevent and cure blindness for patients across the world from the sale of more than 300 abayas, jalabiyas and kaftans.
“The timing of the launch of this campaign has come at a crucial moment in the timeline of this cause. Currently, millions of people around the world are suffering from preventable misfortunes such as famine and drought, in third world nations,” said Mona Al Merri, Chairperson of Dubai Women Establishment and Vice-President of Dubai Ladies Club.
Designer Mariam Al Medfaei, who donated 20 items from her fashion store 1001 Abayas, told Gulf News that she is one of many designers who are keen about being involved in community service and charity events. Mariam, who is taking part in the exhibition for the second time, pointed out the huge impact of Shaikh Mohammad’s charity initiatives and the importance of the community’s support.
The UAE Water Aid campaign has already received Dh140 million in donations, exceeding its Dh125 million target ahead of schedule. The campaign aimed to provide clean drinking water to five million people across 60 countries, and achieved 112 per cent of its target on the 17th day of its launch. Figures by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that more than 3.4 million die every year due to thirst and diseases caused by unclean water. The funds raised will help provide clean drinking water to 5.6 million people around the world.