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Abou Nasr had come to the UAE to work as a salesman for a monthly salary of Dh3,500. Today, he is a millionaire. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE's Golden Jubilee year marks 45 years in the country for Lebanese expatriate Bassem Abou Nasr. 

Nasr, 67, said he could not have lived in a better country than UAE as it has given him a life of independence and joy. A businessman based in Ajman, Abou Nasr said the icing on the cake was when he won a Dh1 million jackpot in the Mahzooz draw in April this year.

Abou Nasr had come to the UAE to work as a salesman for a monthly salary of Dh3,500. Today, he is a millionaire and all his successes have been achieved in the UAE.

“My business was down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just when I was thinking of closing down my business, the Mahzooz win happened like a blessing. I feel like all my hard work here in the UAE was recognised by the universe and it was a gift handed to me. The UAE is my second home and I cannot imagine living anywhere else.”

Abou Nasr walked away with Dh1 million after winning the second-tier prize in Mahzooz draw. He was the only participant to match five out of the six winning numbers (1-2-16-18-36-45) during the live draw on April 17. Abou Nasr became Mahzooz’s fifth millionaire of 2021 and the second Lebanese expat to win Dh1 million.

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Abou Nasr's wife and children in Ajman. Image Credit: Supplied

Putting his faith in the UAE

Abou Nasr lives with his wife and children in Ajman. “I came to the UAE in 1976 when I was 21. It was a different world back then. I wanted to get away from Lebanon. The UAE had just formed its federation and things looked so promising,” Abou Nasr said.

“This is a land of opportunities. Besides, the rules and regulations set up by the visionary leaders of the UAE allows expatriates to dream and dream big. I am so grateful for my life with my family here in the UAE,” Abou Nasr added.

“There is so much positivity here. Initially, I used to live in Dubai. Later, I moved to Sharjah. Now, I have settled down with my family in Ajman,” he said.

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Abou Nasr said part of the prize money will go towards securing the future of his children. Image Credit: Supplied

Abou Nasr is in the business of event management. “The last year was difficult for my company because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with me winning this prize money, I have managed to clear all my debts. Winning the prize money was a huge turning point in my life. It reinforced my faith in the UAE. I never wanted to leave the UAE. With this win, I can now get my business back on track. It is as if the UAE just does not want me to go anywhere from here,” he added, saying that part of the prize money will also go towards securing the future of his children.

‘Take a chance in life’

Abou Nasr said: “I will continue participating [in the Mahzooz draw] and aim to win Dh50 million next time. My wife used to tell me that I was not lucky, but I have always believed that as long as your name is ‘there’, you will win one day. If your name is not ‘there’, you will never get lucky. One has to take a chance in life. And we will never know unless we try.”

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He said: “On the occasion of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, I am grateful to the visionary leaders of this nation who have made life so very comfortable for all of us. We left our respective home countries as we were looking for greener pastures. We were struggling back home. This land has changed everything for the better. I hope the next 50 years will bring even more success to the nation.”