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Indian millionaire gets lucky twice with Dubai Duty Free



Lightning may strike once but for an Indian expatriate in Dubai, Lady Luck has smiled twice in quick succession.

The expat has joined the list of US$1 million winners who doubled their luck and won the promotion twice when the latest Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draws were held today in Concourse A of Dubai International Airport.

Sree Sunil Sreedharan, a 55 year old Indian national based in Dubai became the 8th person to win the Millennium Millionaire promotion twice when his ticket number 1938 in Millennium Millionaire Series 388, which he purchased online on 10th April, was drawn today.

Sreedharan previously won a US$1 million in Millennium Millionaire Series 310 with ticket number 4638 in September 2019. Incredibly, he also won a Range Rover HSE 360PS (Fuji White) car in Finest Surprise Series 1746 with ticket number 1293 in February 2020.

A regular participant to Dubai Duty Free promotions for more than 20 years, Mr. Sreedharan, who used to work as an estimation manager for a company in Abu Dhabi, now runs his own online trading business in Dubai. “Thank you Dubai Duty Free for making me a second time winner of US$1 million. I’m encouraging everyone to participate in this amazing promotion and be patient. I am certainly a proof of that!” he said.

Mr Sreedharan, who hails from Kerala in India is also the 188th Indian national to have won US$1 million since the start of the Millennium Millionaire promotion in 1999. Indian nationals make up the highest number of Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire ticket buyers.

Today’s Millennium Millionaire draw was conducted by Dubai Duty Free’s Chief Operating Officer, Ramesh Cidambi, Salah Tahlak, Executive Vice President – Corporate Services, Sinead El Sibai, SVP – Marketing, Mona Al Ali, SVP – Human Resources, Michael Schmidt, SVP – Retail and Zayed Al Shebli, SVP – Loss Prevention and Corporate Security.

Following the Millennium Millionaire draw, the Finest Surprise draw was conducted for two luxury vehicles.
Mr Rashid Al Mutawaa, a 41-year-old Emirati national based in Dubai, won a BMW 750Li xDrive M Sport (Mineral White Metallic) car, with ticket number 0924 in Finest Surprise Series 1804, which he purchased online on 21st April.

Mr Al Mutawaa, who runs his own travel agency, started buying tickets for Dubai Duty Free promotion only last year and couldn’t believe that he won.

“What a lucky day! Thank you Dubai Duty Free!” he commented.

Lastly, Mr Purushothaman Pachairaj, a 61 year old Indian national from Chennai, India won a BMW R 1250 RS (Imperial Blue Metallic) motorbike, with ticket number 0814 in Finest Surprise Series 496, which he purchased on 23rd April when he travelled between India and Basra, Iraq.

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of Now managing editor of, part of MEMc (


Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO of Les Roches, is among 150 most influential professionals in tourism in Spain



Sergestur (Servicios de Gestión Turística/ Tourism Management Services), the tourism consulting firm, has published the fifth edition of its list of the 150 most influential figures in the sector in Spain during Fitur 2024. Once again, Carlos Díez de la Lastra, Global CEO of Les Roches, one of the top four specialized schools in hospitality and luxury tourism education worldwide, is featured for the fifth consecutive year.

The CEO of Les Roches, who has positioned the institution as one of the top four schools for hotel management and training in the world, continues to expand the brand into new markets such as Abu Dhabi, China, and India. Recently, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has established a hospitality education academy to be managed and guided under the stewardship of Les Roches in Abu Dhabi, which will open in September 2024.

Since joining Les Roches in 2014 as General Manager of Les Roches Marbella, Carlos Díez de la Lastra Buigues (Madrid, 1970) has pursued a clear and ambitious goal: to position Les Roches at the forefront of excellence and innovation in the sector and establish it as a leading academic center internationally.

On his tenth anniversary within Les Roches, Carlos Díez de la Lastra has just presented at Fitur the school’s new educational offerings for 2024. For the upcoming academic year, Les Roches’ prospective students will have a greater number of specialized educational programs in different areas, such as golf course management or cruises. This expansion aims to meet the new needs arising in an ever-changing sector.

The CEO of Les Roches shares the list with other influential personalities from different specialties within the sector such as Dabiz Muñoz, chef of Diverxo; Gabriel Escarrer, chairman & CEO of Meliá Hotels International; Miguel Sanz, general director of Turespaña; Patricia Gutiérrez, director of communication and strategic marketing of the Basque Culinary Center; Rosana González, general manager of the Hotel Colón; Carmen y Luis RIU Güell, RIU Hotels; or Manuel Molina, editor of Hosteltur, among others.

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Bollywood sensation Neha Kakkar to perform at Abu Dhabi T10 final



The closing ceremony of the final of Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will be a star-studded affair with Bollywood singing sensation Neha Kakkar set to perform live at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday, Dec 9th, before the start of the final match. Neha Kakkar, who is currently regarded as one of the most popular Bollywood artists, will set the stage on fire with a vibrant concert starting from 1800 hrs GST. The hottest ticket in town for the Abu Dhabi T10 Final will be available for just AED 10, and fans can also witness the Closing Ceremony at no additional cost! Tickets are available at

Kakkar made a name for herself during the second season of Indian Idol in 2005, and since then, has been associated with some of the top music labels in India. She enjoys a cult following among the Indian masses with her tracks being played out across parties, weddings, and clubs, and is one of the most followed female Indian artists on Spotify. In 2021, Kakkar became the first Indian singer to win a YouTube Diamond award. Currently, her official YouTube page has 14.4 million followers, and she recently also performed live in front of packed crowds during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad.

Apart from the Indian singer, Iranian-German model, actress, dancer, and singer Elnaaz Norouzi will also dazzle the jam-packed crowd with a sensational dance performance. Norouzi entered the Indian film industry with the Netflix cult classic Sacred Games and since then has worked across several Indian movies and TV shows, with her latest appearance being in the second season of Made in Heaven. She also made her Hollywood debut alongside Gerard Butler in the 2023 hit Kandahar.

A stunning fashion show featuring gorgeous costume designs by Libaas will also lighten up the atmosphere at the stadium before the start of the match.

Commenting on the closing ceremony of Abu Dhabi T10 2023, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman, T10 Sports Management, said, “The Final day of the Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will be an affair like no other. The T10 format was always meant to entertain fans and we want everyone to have a great time. We have brought on renowned international artists and designers to engage all fans with spectacular performances and set the tone for some cracking cricketing action that they will get to witness on Saturday. The tournament has already raised the bar high this year and the grand finale will only set new limits for the competition.”

Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will be broadcast on CricLife3 available on Etisalat, Elife IPTV, Switch TV, and Starzplay in UAE-MENA. It will also be aired in Pakistan on channel A Sports and live streamed on TapMad. Indian fans can watch the season on Viacom Sports 18 2 (Hindi) and on Jio Cinema app. The tournament this season, will also air on Supreme TV in Sri Lanka, on BT Sport in the United Kingdom, on ESPN in the Caribbean, on Willow TV in North America, on T Sports in Bangladesh, and Fox Sports in Australia.

Cricket fans in UAE can buy the Abu Dhabi Season 7 Final for just AED 10 via:

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Japanese culture gets full display in Dubai



The Japan Culture Con (JCC) convention, dedicated to showcasing the richness of culture from the Land of the Rising Sun, drew to a close with resounding response at the Burj Park, Dubai.

The JCC brought together enthusiasts, artists, and experts over a period of three days to create a vibrant tapestry of traditional and contemporary expressions.

According to the organisers, JCC exceeded their expectations with record-breaking attendance numbers. Over 13,000 enthusiasts gathered to immerse themselves in the multifaceted beauty of Japan’s cultural heritage. The diverse audience contributed to the event’s dynamic atmosphere, fostering cultural exchange and understanding.

A range of diverse and dynamic programming played an important part in the event’s success. Attendees experienced a kaleidoscope of traditional arts, modern performances, interactive workshops, and immersive exhibits that showcased the evolution of Japanese culture. The fusion of tradition and innovation was a key theme, resonating with participants of all ages and backgrounds.

The convention featured a stellar lineup of cultural icons and rising stars, including renowned artists, performers, and experts in various fields. Their contributions brought authenticity and depth to the event, enriching the experience for attendees and highlighting the global appeal of Japanese culture.

The Culture Con successfully leveraged various platforms to engage a global audience. Social media channels buzzed with excitement, with attendees sharing their favorite moments and connecting with like-minded individuals. The virtual components of the event allowed those unable to attend in person to participate, expanding the reach of the convention.

The success was further amplified through strategic collaborations and partnerships. Japanese businesses, cultural organisations, and sponsors played a crucial role in supporting and enhancing the event, contributing to its overall success. Journalists and influencers highlighted the unique experiences, performances, and cultural insights presented at Japan Culture Con, further establishing it as a premier event in the cultural calendar.

The organisers – Keisaku Nishida (CEO) and Beenish Muneer (Managing Director) of Westfield Event Management – said in a statement: “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all attendees, supporters, sponsors, and partners who contributed to the success of Japan Culture Con. Their enthusiasm and commitment to celebrating Japanese culture made the event a truly memorable and enriching experience.” There are plans already to build on the success, they said.

This family was part of the roughly 13,000 attendees at the Japan Culture Con

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