Hollywood actress Eva Longoria, Ricky Martin, Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe, Grammy-winning singer Maxwell and over 350 guests attended a charity banquet hosted by Longoria on Saturday.
The event was held at the Supperclub at the Zabeel Saray resort on the Palm Jumeirah in collaboration with the Noor Dubai Foundation . Guests paid up to Dh 2,500 to attend the glamorous event.
Eva's charitable event aimed to raise money to help vulnerable women and children in Dubai.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions about Dubai and the world sees the city as a very rich, glamorous place,” said Longoria, 38.
“So we wanted to make people understand there are people who are in need and less fortunate here.
“We wanted to provide the platform and funds to help them.”
Halfway through the banquet, international rapper and spokesman for a high-tech headphone brand 50 Cent made a surprise appearance, along with a pair of autographed wireless headphones he decided to auction off.
“I wasn’t really expecting to come so I’m not that dressed up,” said the Candy Shop singer, who was all in black with a leather baseball cap, black jeans and black sweater. He gamely got on stage with Longoria to pump up the crowd, who had paid at least Dh1,500 for a seat at the benefit.
His visit was a success, as the headphones fetched $15,000. The buyer? Haifa Wehba herself, who performed on the night as well.
Also up for auction was a portrait of Longoria, painted as guests ate their starter of burrata cheese with honey and truffle, which went for $40,000. Other items included VIP tickets to the next Global Gift Gala with Eva in Merbella, Spain ($45,000); an Argentinian polo pony ($14,000) and a pair of gold sunglasses ($12,000).
Guests reached deep into their pockets and raised over $350,000 on the night.
The funds raised will be used to help cure and prevent blindness around the world. Telling his own story of blindness was Turkish singer Metin Senturk, who also performed alongside Maxwell and sang his version of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Ricky Martin was presented with a Global Gift Humanitarian Award by Eva at the gala.
“It’s a privilege to honour my dear friend,” she said. “He has been someone I’ve admired and respected for years for his endless commitment on ending the exploitation of children.”
The event was in support of Longoria's Global Gift Foundation. The privileged actress grew up with a special needs sister, Elizabeth, who she said is “an amazing human being and the light of our family’s lives. From an early age, the family volunteered at the Special Olympics and the Boys and Girls club.
“It was really amazing to grow up with somebody less fortunate because it taught us how to be a selfless family and how to come together to support each other.”