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Want to be a millionaire in the UAE? Punch the Big Ticket to a new life

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Abu Dhabi’s Big Ticket lottery draw is the oldest, tried and still trusted, and hence ruling roost despite emerging competition, the hosts of the draw have said at an event in Dubai.

Still going with their first names, Richard and Bouchra, introduced four winners from different backgrounds and for different amounts in front of some media representatives at One Life Cafe on Wednesday in an effort to reach out to the masses.

Big-Ticket-lottery-draw

Richard, left, and Bouchra host Abu Dhabi’s Big Ticket draw on the third of each month. Photos Red Havas ME

“We are the oldest one; we are the only one that never changed our format; we are transparent and we declare our prizes at the start of it and irrespective of how many tickets are sold we give away the prize – guaranteed – in full view of everyone; and there is no rollover,” says Richard. “We get a winner regardless of anything from the name picked out of the drum (of tickets) in front of you, all secured and audited for.”

Originally conducted by the Abu Dhabi Airport Company, the Big Ticket moved under the aegis of Abu Dhabi Duty Free, a similar branding as their counterparts in Dubai.

There is no denying the fact that the Big Ticket has had to evolve a bit going with competition with Mahzooz and Emirates Draw coming in with their own varying formats.

However, with varying amounts each month, Big Ticket has changed lives of thousands with many people clubbing together in the hope to punch the big ticket to fulfil their dreams. This year alone, Big Ticket awarded 60 cash prize winners, whose winnings equate to a total prize value of over AED110 million.

“We are indeed privileged to be life-changers for many and it is such a satisfying job,” says Bouchra. Both hosts had plenty of anecdotes to share of people’s reactions and disbelief. There have been instances when Big Ticket had to go out of the way and spread out messages in public for the winners to get in touch.

“In the rare occurrence that we don’t find the winner – it has happened for the lesser prizes only – we wait for six months before giving it to charity,” a marketing official explained without being named because he was not authorised to speak.

The experiences of the winners gathered separately vouched for the efforts of Big Ticket as they shared their initial feeling of numbness and reality sinking in late for couple of them.

There were inspiring stories of Leena Jalal, Jacob Roy, Shahid Mahmood, and Safwan Nizameddin, a passport holder of St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean.

“They say that Big Ticket only favours only one or two nationalities, but I am testimony to the fact that it is for everyone. One should have the belief,” said Nizameddin, the oldest of the four but the latest grand prize winner.

Lives changed

Leena, an Indian expat currently residing in Abu Dhabi, shared that she bought the ticket only days prior to the draw with many of her colleagues and friends, and was the luckiest one whose name was chosen after months of trying. Leena seeks to make a difference, just like Big Ticket, and is currently in talks with local charities to donate a percentage of her winnings, while the remaining amount will go towards supporting her family back home.

Jacob, another Indian expat residing in Abu Dhabi since 1990, discussed his commitment to a group of 12 friends that have been pitching in to purchase Big Ticket raffles on a monthly basis, for five years. He won Dh300,000 representing a group of buyers. “I tell others, consider buying the ticket as a job. We are all here as expats to change our lives and BT can do that for us. I and few others also chip in with extra if we have to make up the necessary amount at times.”

Shahid Mahmood is a Dubai-based Pakistani employee working at a glass installation company. After five years of buying BT raffles every month, Shahid received the winning phone call that made his and his friend’s dreams come true with a Dh15m purse.

Big-Ticket-winners

Four Big Ticket winners and the event emcee Lekha Menon in Dubai. From left: Ms Menon, Leena Jalal, Shahid Mahmood, Jacob Roy and Safwan Nizameddin shared their experiences

A longtime resident of Abu Dhabi, Nizameddin has been purchasing tickets every month for the past two years. When the call came, Safwan says his sixth sense kicked in and he instinctually knew he had finally won. The executive manager of a company specializing in power generation is a family man at heart. He plans to use his winnings to purchase properties for his three children as an investment in their future and some for charity.

On a side note, regular buyers of Big Ticket have been curious to know the logic behind different prize amounts each month. Having started at one million dirhams, the highest on offer has been Dh25m although it 10-20 is the common range. Initially, Richard said “the idea behind it is to give it fresh a look, I guess”, but when prodded further, he conceded he wasn’t sure and never checked with his employers.

Nonetheless, the prizes given out on the third of each month remain substantial and undoubtedly have changed many lives.

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Food

Jaffer Bhai’s goes ‘glocal’ with its newest branch in DIFC

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Jaffer Bhai’s, the Biryani King of Bombay, inaugurated their newest outlet in Dubai on Tuesday, November 29, ahead of UAE’s 51st National Day celebrations.
The over-the-counter Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) concept in the South Market food court at the Gate Avenue of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Is the four-decades-old legacy group’s third establishment in the UAE after their oldest and flagship restaurant in Karama, and a second one in Al Barsha. “This is also by far our most significant step forward considering the concept of the kitchen and the pan-Asian, pan-European/American clientele it will serve, So this is our first truly global restaurant with a very localised outlook making us a glocal outfit,” said Moin Jaffer Mansuri, the second-generation owner of the chain that first began operations in 1973 in Mumbai before coming to the shores of Dubai in UAE in the nineties. “We have consistently been voted one of Dubai’s best restaurants for biryani but there’s more to us than our dum-cooked rice and meat legacy and our specialist team at DIFC outlet can’t wait to showcase it by catering to everyone, including the resident upmarket executive foodies with a more refined palate and everyone else that loves a hearty workday lunch.”

According to Mansuri, Jaffer Bhai’s DIFC will be mostly targeting customers looking to grab a quick bite on the go, in between work and meetings. “And so, the kitchen here will be serving daily specials including biryanis, kebabs and choicest of desserts. But one thing that we are also introducing here is our own version of the world’s best kathi rolls, something we expect our patrons to absolutely fall in love with,” he added. “This is truly a landmark moment for us. It is always a great sign when we can expand and serve new customers in a completely new market.”
Besides the new additions, guests here can expect Jaffer Bhai’s other wildly popular dishes like the 1952 Gosht Biriyani, Murgh-e-Nargis and all of their famous kebabs.
About Jaffer Bhai’s Restaurants
Since the inception of Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar in Mumbai, India in 1986, it has been the spot synonymous with an unparalleled mouth-watering pot of Indian dum biryani. With a passion in his heart and hands, Moin ‘Jaffer Bhai’ Mansuri, today leads a team of select chefs to serve what has been consistently rated by media, influencers and foodies as one of Dubai’s best biryanis. Jaffer Bhai imbibed the philosophy of pursuing perfection in the biriyani making process from start to the end from his father. He believes in identifying the right ingredients for a quality product and adding a distinct Mughlai flavour from India’s financial capital of Mumbai to create a biryani that has so far wowed more than 50 million customers over five decades of being in business.

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Financial planning for UAE’s sudden millionaires is market advisory only

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Kumar Shyam

The latest winner of the Mahzooz draw threw up an interesting candidate example at an opportune time to reflect on the nearly two years of existence for the raffle offering which has spread wings fast.

If fortune can favour the brave, they also favour those who are consistent. Dalip (full name withheld for privacy reasons) became Mahzooz’s 30th millionaire when he won a grand promotional prize of Dh20 million, which was on offer in the 102nd Super Saturday draw pick. Dalip, 48, an Indian expatriate in Kuwait City, took part in all of them.

“I knew that I will be lucky and try to win at least 100,000 (a guaranteed raffle draw prize amount) if I participate regularly. If I don’t give myself that chance then how will it happen,” said the mechanical engineer, who hails from north of India and is a father of three. He matched five of the five winning numbers which were 12, 24, 31, 39, 49.

While Dalip’s plans with the fortune was similar to many in the past, he did spoke in true career fashion that “I will travel the world first and enjoy the life I have only dreamt of. After that I will see what I will do with the rest of the money. The blueprint is there, but I will finalize it in consultation with the family at ease.”

The main prize has not always been won and rolled over for a few weeks before lapsing. In winning the grand prize, Dalip broke a few stereotypes as Farid Samji, the Mahzooz CEO, pointed out before introducing the winner at the office of Ewings, the operating company.

“This was part of our latest promotion, which offered participants the chance to win AED 20m instead of the usual AED 10m and I am very happy that the promotion didn’t end before that top prize was claimed,” Samji said.

“This also confirms that Mahzooz’s popularity is cross borders. Dalip, is one amongst thousands of winners who joined Mahzooz from other GCC countries, and who collectively have won close to AED 30million till date.”

The maturity of financial planning that Dalip hinted at is an aspect very few think of. While becoming millionaires in the UAE is a dream for most, many who do get lucky only end up paying up debts or spending in fulfilling expensive desires.

A former banker, Samji agrees financial planning and advice is important, but he is quick to stress that the after-life of their winners and their changed fortunes are not part of the remit. The neutrality is tempting to break but the status quo is sacrosanct. “Financial advise is not part of our license. Out domain stops at most with suggesting a bank account so we can transfer the winnings. It would be nice to see the winners work on their own financial planning.”

Dalip, left, flew down from Kuwait, where the Indian works as a mechanical engineer, to Dubai to collect his Mahzooz winnings from Farid Samji, CEO of Ewings. Photo supplied

Meanwhile, Dalip is determined to give his family – his wife, three children aged 25, 23 and 20 years old as well as his aging parents – all the comforts of life possible with the prize money. “I couldn’t have saved this much even if I had worked for a hundred years,” says the engineer who spent more than a decade away from his family working in the steel industry.

His visit to Dubai to claim the winnings was his first to the country. Pushed and prodded a bit too much by journalists, unfairly, about any plans to invest in Dubai, Dalip said he was considering ‘life in Dubai but it is a family decision.”

“I had goosebumps when I received the email from Mahzooz on that memorable night. While getting ready for bed, I received an email from Mahzooz, but I assumed that I had won either the third prize of AED 350 or the AED 100,000 raffle draw prize. With the aid of this money, my family and I will be able to pursue all of our aspirations”, Dalip said.

To become the next millionaire, participants now have the chance to join multiple Mahzooz draws every week. All they need to do is register at www.mahzooz.ae and purchase a bottle of water for AED 35, which enables them to enter the Fantastic Friday Epic Draw and the Super Saturday Draws, by choosing two different set of numbers.

The Super Saturday Draws require participants to pick 5 out of 49 numbers for a chance to win the top prize of AED 10,000,000, the second prize of AED 1,000,000, or the third prize of AED 350. Participants will also be automatically entered into the Super Saturday raffle draw in which three guaranteed winners will each receive AED 100,000. The new Fantastic Friday Epic Draw requires participants to choose only 6 numbers out of 39 for a chance to win AED 10,000,000.

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World’s tallest residential tower to be built in Dubai

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Uniting their rich heritage and iconic architectural and horological codes, power brands Binghatti and Jacob & Co introduce their ultra-luxury Dubai skyscraper. The project, ‘Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences’, aspires to achieve the record for the world’s tallest residential structure. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences coins a new term in upper-crust real estate: hypertower. Opening a new era in uber-luxury living, this unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world. In a great leap upwards, it stands opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay.

The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences. This jewel of a building features unique designs co-signed by and co-designed in the recognizable style of watchmaking and jewelry brand Jacob & Co and leading Dubai-based developer Binghatti. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences includes multiple levels dedicated to such amenities as an infinity pool overlooking the entire Dubai skyline, a luxury spa and a gymnasium. This hypertower also houses a dedicated concierge team, offering à la carte services such as daycare, bodyguard, chauffeur and private chef.

“This unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world,” according to a Binghatti statement. In a great leap upwards, the property developer said ultra-luxury skyscraper will stand opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay. The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences.

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