From Left Samir Verma, Syed Ali and  Allen George Varghese
From Left Samir Verma, Syed Ali and Allen George Varghese Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Three lucky winners won in the grand draw for ‘1 Million Etihad Guest Miles’ on Tuesday as part of the Gulf News subscription promotion.

One winner received 500,000 Etihad Guest Miles and two winners each bagged 250,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

The miles can be used for travel and other benefits, including lounge access, excess baggage allowance and much more.

Syed Ali, winner of the 500,000 miles, said he will use the miles to visit his daughter in India who is studying there, once the travel situation with the coronavirus pandemic eases up.

‘Especially happy’

The 54-year-old Indian expat, who works at a lab in Abu Dhabi, said he was “especially happy” to win as the good news came amidst the unprecedented pandemic.

“I didn’t expect to win at all. When I renewed the subscription to Gulf News, I did it because our visitors at the lab love to read the paper also. The news in it is up to date, clear and genuine,” added Ali, who has lived in the UAE for 24 years now.

“Compared to other papers, Gulf News has the latest news. I’ve been a subscriber for over five years,” said Ali, who is from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Holiday dreaming

Allen George Varghese, who won 250,000 miles, plans to go on holiday with his family using the miles once it is feasible to do so.

“I think I’ll be travelling more because of my win, of course, depending on the situation [with the pandemic]. I, my wife and our children are all excited,” said the 45-year-old Indian expat, who is an investor in the medical equipment business.

“I didn’t subscribe to Gulf News because of the promotion, I didn’t think about it at all. I renewed my subscription as routine as I do every year. I never gave a thought to winning, it was totally unexpected,” added Varghese, who is from the southern Indian state of Kerala.

He has been subscribing to Gulf News “for a very long time now” and enjoys the “highlights of the main points”, especially on the front page.

“I don’t have the time to go through the whole paper in the morning, so I go over the highlights first and then when I get time, I go through the pages in full,” said Varghese, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for more than 20 years.

‘Very excited’

Another winner of 250,000 miles, Indian expat Samir Verma, said “it is the first time I’ve won a raffle draw and I’m very excited about it”.

Verma, who works in the banking sector, said when travel opens up again, he’ll use his miles to visit India.

The 42-year-old, who has been a Gulf News subscriber for around 13 years, said he likes the “maximum coverage and updated UAE news” in the paper.

Verma, who is from Delhi, said he was “sceptical” at first when he got the call that he won, but after verifying the pleasant news, he told his family.

“With so much chaos around us these days, it’s especially welcome early in the morning to get good news,” added Verma, who has lived in the UAE for 14 years.

Major promotion

The Gulf News subscription promotion ‘Reading Just Got More Rewarding’ launched on February 14. The guest miles were one of the major promotional offers that came along with the annual subscription of the newspaper for just Dh500. Besides the grand draw on Tuesday, for 11 weeks one winner received 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

The promotion also offers multiple vouchers for food, entertainment, discount deals and much more to new and renewing subscribers, giving them more value for their newspaper.