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22-year-old expat student wins apartment in Sharjah

American-Jordanian expat wins after participating in a competition he came across on Instagram

  • Home Winner from ARADA celebrates new homeImage Credit:
  • ARADA CEO, Ahmed Alkhoshaibi with home winner Mikail AtiyehImage Credit:
Gulf News

Dubai: A creative video made by a 22-year-old Sharjah student landed him a brand new one-bedroom apartment in Sharjah, helping him achieve his dream of making the UAE his permanent home.

American-Jordanian expat Mikail Atiyeh could not believe his eyes when he was handed over the keys to his own apartment, after he won a competiion he came across on Instagram.

Uncertain about whether to click the sponsored link by developer ARADA announcing a contest with a grand prize of a new apartment in their upcoming Ajada residence project, Atiyeh thought why not take a chance.

“It was just another day, I was scrolling through my feed and found this post. I dismissed it at first, but then decided to look at it and I was like wow, you can actually win an apartment by just making a video,” said the University of Sharjah student.

Contestants were required to show what a person would do when he or she walked into an apartment for the first time, he said.

“I got two of my sisters [Hidayah, 17 and Dana, 15] involved and we began thinking about themes like excitement, family, happiness and future, and wanted to translate that into a visual story. We only had two months before the deadline but were determined to make a quality video that was entertaining, funny and unique.”

With hundreds of entries being submitted, Atiyeh said he submitted four videos, but he doubted he would make it to the semi-finals.

“The idea behind the video that won me the competion happened by pure chance. It came from a song I heard on the radio by Kool and Gang called fresh. I translated that into promoting the apartment and I made it to the top five.”

Atiyeh’s short-video, among 436 entries, shows him dancing with funny gestures and singing to the lyrics of the song which describe the new apartment as fresh and exciting.

“I was completely shocked when I won the contest. I didn’t know it was going to happen. It was an amazing feeling. I was in disbelief,” said Atiyeh, who plans to keep the apartment.

“I have been living in Sharjah for 14 years and I had this realisation recently that my mother would retire and go back to Jordan and I just don’t feel like I want to leave just yet. This apartment will change many things for us. I finally have place to call home and a permanent place for me and family,” he said.

Atiyeh said he will be handed over the apartment at the end of next year. “This is the biggest example of someone who has tried his best and got rewarded for it. Thank God for everything,” he said.

The #MyARADAHome competition has been held in line with the Year of Zayed initiative, which honours the legacy and generosity of the founding father of the UAE.

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