Bobby Varghese with his wife Rosna
Bobby Varghese with his wife Rosna and children at their new apartment in Damac Tenora, Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Bobby Varghese asked his newspaper delivery man in jest last month why he didn’t win any of the cars in the previous Gulf News raffles only to get a reply that that’s because he could win the grand prize — a fully-furnished one-bedroom flat.

As luck would have it, he did.

Varghese and his young family are now proud owners of a brand-new flat worth Dh981,000 at Tenora by Damac in Dubai South. The Indian expatriate’s name came up in the grand draw of the Gulf News Subscription Campaign.

A subscriber of Gulf News for one year, Varghese intended to renew his subscription in February this year.

Dh981,000

value of brand-new flat at Tenora by Damac in Dubai South won by Gulf News subscriber Bobby Varghese

But his persistent newspaper salesman, Gunashegara, convinced him to renew it earlier in December to get a chance to win one of the three Audi A4, one million Etihad air miles, or the brand new flat.

“After a couple of months, I chatted with him on WhatsApp, ‘Where is my Audi Car? You told me I’d win an Audi Car’,” recalled Varghese, 37, a project engineer for submarine fibre optic cable installation.

Bobby Varghese with his wife Rosna and children
Bobby Varghese with his wife Rosna and children at their new apartment in Damac Tenora, Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

'Maybe you'll win it'

“He said one of his regular clients, Ahuja, had won an Audi Car. But there’s still a one-bedroom flat up for grabs. ‘Maybe you’ll win it’. And it happened. I never expected such a big prize.”

Varghese, his wife Rosna and two sons, Julius and Elias, received the keys to their new home last week during a handing-over ceremony at the Gulf News office with Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice-President of Damac Properties, and Rajeev Khanna, Commercial Director of Gulf News.

Varghese owns two residential properties in India which are currently rented.

“It’s the first property for me in Dubai. I never thought I would ever be able to buy a property here as it’s very expensive,” he said.

Bobby Varghese
Bobby Varghese receives the key from Niall McLoughlin and Rajeev Khanna. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

“My wife was very excited when we toured the flat. From an engineering point of view, it was constructed really well. It’s well-lit, well-painted and the furniture and everything is organised. Outside, there’s a swimming pool and the ambience is very nice. There’s a kids’ play area and a gym, so it’s a very interesting place to live in. It’s a calm and quiet area. One of the tenants in the building said this is the best place to live with the family.”

Tenora is situated in Dubai South, a master planned community in close proximity to the nerve centre of Expo 2020 and Al Maktoum International Airport.

“We’re super excited. The winner is delighted to get the keys. Winning a house or an apartment for anybody is very significant. We hope that it changes his life as I’m sure it will change mine or anybody else’s,” McLoughlin said.

Saving on rent

Varghese said the winning will help the family a lot as they can save on rent once they move in to the new flat later this year.

Bobby Varghese with his wife Rosna and children
Bobby Varghese with his wife Rosna and children at their new apartment in Damac Tenora, Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

“The savings from our rent will be a good savings for my children’s education and I will be able to utilise that for their future,” Varghese said.

“I would like to thank Gulf News and Damac for giving me such a wonderful gift. I really appreciate their support.”

Khanna congratulated the winner and thanked everyone who took part in the campaign.

“Our promotional campaign was extremely successful. We’re very happy with the results. We thank all our subscribers for their support in the past 40 years and we welcome new subscribers into the Gulf News family.”