YouTube star AboFlah begins $10m fundraising quest inside glass box in Dubai

Gaming content creator will remain locked inside the structure in Burj Park until the target is reached

One of the world's fastest-rising YouTube stars has started his quest to raise $10 million to support refugees across the region − from inside a giant glass box in Dubai.

AboFlah, a gaming content creator with more than 22 million subscribers and almost three billion views, has promised to stay locked inside the structure in Burj Park until the lofty target is reached.

His real name is Hassan Suleiman and AboFlah has won a huge following online thanks to his vlogs, comedy shorts and shows covering video games and popular culture.

He is live-streaming the challenge on his YouTube channel as part of the Warm Winter initiative being held under the UAE's World's Coolest Winter tourism strategy.

Donations are already flooding in from generous members of the public.

Close to $600,000 has already been gathered from about 31,000 donations.

The money brought in so far will provide vital supplies for more than 4,500 refugees and displaced people in the Middle East.

The campaign got under way on Friday and aims to provide essential food, winter clothing, blankets, mattresses and critical aid to help about 100,000 displaced men, women and children prepare for challenging winter conditions.

The high-profile scheme is being held in partnership with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and Galaxy Racer, a Dubai lifestyle organisation that specialises in e-sports, gaming and lifestyle and handles AboFlah’s activities.

“Warmth in winter for those facing harsh winter conditions is no less important than food and water," AboFlah said.

"There are millions of refugees and displaced people who need all the support they can get. I wanted to participate in this humanitarian initiative and hope everyone will contribute by bringing warmth to the lives of those who are deprived of it."

The essential aid will be distributed with the support of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the Food Banking Regional Network.

It will ensure basic supplies and necessities are delivered to refugees in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon as well as vulnerable people in Syria and Egypt.

UNHCR estimates that there are 3.8 million refugees and displaced people in the Arab region, as well as millions in Africa, who need critical assistance to survive winter.

“UNHCR provides vital support to millions of refugees and displaced people in the region," said Khaled Khalifa, senior adviser and representative to the GCC for the UN agency.

"Through our co-operation with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, we can jointly implement large-scale campaigns to relieve hundreds of thousands of refugees from life-threatening conditions.

"We are pleased to support the Warm Winter initiative, which reaffirms the importance of the collective efforts led by the UAE to provide relief to those most in need, in co-operation with global partners.”

It is not the first time AboFlah has used his global platform for good.

In October he supported a drive that raised $1 million from 31,000 donors during a 28-hour live broadcast to support refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, in conjunction with UNCHR.

To support the Warm Winter campaign, visit MBRGI.ae/WarmWinter.

Updated: January 9th 2022, 8:56 AM