Hollywood star Will Smith will auction his hand prints for the UAE's 100 Million Meals initiative at a charity event in Dubai on Saturday, April 24.
The live art auction, to be held at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, will help raise funds for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’s campaign, one of the biggest food drives of its kind, which aims to deliver 100 million meals to needy people across 30 countries during Ramadan.
Smith’s hand print will be among various other artworks including rare works of world-renowned contemporary artists and masterpieces of world leaders and other celebrities, organisers said.
One of the highlights will be a piece of Kaaba cover called Kiswa, embroidered in gold and silver and adorned with Arabic calligraphy of Quranic verses, donated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who kickstarted the 100 Million Meals campaign on April 11.
There are also works by Salvador Dali, English painter David Hockney, and Spanish artist Joan Miro. A line drawing by the late South African president Nelson Mandela as well as gold medallions by Pablo Picasso will also be part of the lot. Simultaneously, there will be a silent auction of items including signed jerseys from sporting heroes, and extraordinary experiences, held from April 20 to 30.
Guests attending the event will include Mona Kattan, co-founder of Huda Beauty & Kayali Fragrances; German tennis player Borris Becker; and Marjorie Harvey, wife of US TV host Steve Harvey.
Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are no strangers to Dubai and have visited the city countless times.
Last week, Pinkett Smith posted a photo of herself on a sun-drenched balcony, wearing a light pink hijab. She captioned the photo: "I really think the colour peach in the Middle East ... suits me."
In February, UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov posted an image with Smith in Dubai on his Instagram account taken at Starbucks in the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.
"Met Hollywood legend [Will Smith]," Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram in English and Russian. "He said that he would love to come to Dagestan."
Stars lend a hand
The Hollywood couple are not the only celebrities adding their star power to the 100 Million Meals campaign, launched right before Ramadan.
Earlier this month, Huda Beauty founder Kattan, pledged to donate one million meals to the 100 Million Meals initiative. Taking to Instagram, the Iraqi-American entrepreneur said she wanted to "take part in this humbling humanitarian aid initiative by [the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives], who will be distributing food parcels to disadvantaged individuals during the blessed month of Ramadan".
Other celebrities who have promoted the initiative include Steve Harvey and his wife Marjorie, Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor and Senegalese-American singer Akon. A number of UAE personalities, including TV and radio presenters, have also joined the campaign.
On Thursday, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives announced it had reached its target of raising Dh100 million for the 100 Million Meals campaign in only 10 days.
The total was reached thanks to the generosity of 185,000 donors, which included individuals and companies, inside and outside the UAE.
Donations have poured in from far and wide, from businesses and high-profile figures to caring members of the public, to provide help where it is needed most.
Poor families, refugees, orphans and widows in Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan have started receiving ingredients that will help them prepare meals throughout the holy month.
The website set up for the campaign allows people to donate as little as Dh10 to fund 10 meals, rising to Dh500 or more.
Click through the gallery below to see some of the work done so far via the 100 Million Meals campaign:
How to donate in the UAE
UAE residents and citizens can also donate through the phone providers Etisalat and du.
To donate, text the word “meal” to the following numbers:
1034 for a Dh10 contribution
1035 for a Dh50 contribution
1036 for a Dh100 contribution
1037 for a Dh300 contribution
1038 for a Dh500 contribution
Larger donations can be made via the campaign’s call centre on 800 4999.