Children with special needs and people with intellectual disabilities and autism in Russia and Qatar stand to benefit from Love Ball Arabia’s fund-raising event in Doha Friday. The biannual charity event, held in Qatar and the Middle East for the first time, was organised under the patronage of Qatar Museums (QM) Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Russian supermodel and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova.
It was in partnership with Al Shafallah Centre and QM as part of the Qatar-Russia Cultural Exchange. “This is our second event together to raise much needed fund for the charity Naked Heart Foundation and Al Shafallah Centre here in Doha,” Vodianova told journalists, adding that both organisations are supporting families who raise children with special needs.
“It is really important to show that inclusion and education matters for all. This is not just words but a statement that is very dear to the Royal Family of this country through the work of Her Highness Sheikha Moza and HE Sheikha Al Mayassa,” she stressed. “Both of them are great champions of education and inclusion.”
Russian supermodel and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova with popular young local hero Ghanim al-Muftah at the event
The event witnessed an exclusive fashion show by Ulyana Sergeenko which featured the full spring/summer 2019 collection
Well-known personalities in the fashion industry, diplomats, and other dignitaries, along with other guests, attended the event, which took place at the Museum of Islamic Art. Half of the proceeds will be used to build a community centre within the premises of Al Shafallah Centre in Doha while the other half will fund the various programmes of Vodianova’s foundation.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Qatar's ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah highlighted the importance of supporting people with disabilities and children with special needs. “The event comes on the occasion of helping two organisations, Naked Heart Foundation in Russia and Al Shafallah Centre here,” the envoy noted.
The outstanding charity gala continued the tradition of the previous editions held in London, Paris, Moscow and Monte Carlo. The evening’s programme also included an immersive theatrical performance combining dance, music and art produced by internationally-lauded performers alongside actors with special needs. The event witnessed an exclusive fashion show by Ulyana Sergeenko which featured the full spring/summer 2019 collection, including brand-new couture pieces inspired by and devoted to Qatar.
Renowned Moscow chef, Georgy Troyan created a bespoke menu specifically for the Love Ball Arabia offering a contemporary twist on traditional Russian cuisine. The programme concluded with a charity auction held by Lord Mark Poltimore, offering a variety of money-can’t-buy experiences.
Among the highlights were: 'Meet and Greet' with top players of Paris Saint-Germain FC; Daniel Arsham’s unique sculpture ‘Wrapped Frog’; lunch with Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen; personalised fashion advice and a couture dress by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing; afternoon tea with Valentino Garavani at his Château de Wideville; after hours exclusive shopping experience at iconic Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche; Ulyana Sergeenko unique Couture gown with Faidee limited edition ruby brooch; artwork by Markus Martinovitch (visual artist with autism), ‘Mama in a dress with dots’ and one of a kind ‘Naked Heart” ring with a heart shaped garnet created especially for Love Ball Arabia by Russian jewellery and fashion house founded by designer Yana Raskovalova.