200 Smiles: virtual experience, real difference at world’s largest themed mall
Ibn Battuta Mall’s annual Ramadan drive to help some of the UAE’s under-privileged children has gone virtual for 2020, with volunteers shopping for clothes for 200 youngsters through live video chat.
The 200 Smiles scheme, a collaboration between Ibn Battuta, the UAE Red Crescent and Rawafed Development and Learning Centre, traditionally involves disadvantaged children aged five to 12 enjoying an afternoon of Ramadan shopping, fun, adventure and Iftar.
This year, children cannot visit malls under current government directives, so influencers and volunteers who usually accompany them in person held a virtual shopping trip for the youngsters, who chose their clothes from RedTag.
Gail Sangster, Director of Assets at Nakheel Malls, said: “Ramadan is a time for giving, and this annual campaign has grown year-on-year since it started in 2016. But the circumstances are very different this time, so we needed to get creative. Using live video chat to communicate with their personal shopper, youngsters could still see and choose their new clothes and shoes, which are being delivered directly to their homes over Eid. The experience may be a virtual one, but the difference it will make to these children will be very real.”
Shadia Al Jabri, Director of Rawafed Centre, thanked Ibn Battuta Mall for its continuous support. “Despite these trying circumstances, the spirit of generosity and giving has continued and, through online solutions, we have managed to maintain this beautiful tradition of spreading joy among the children.”
The annual event has helped more than 1,000 children since its launch.
Ibn Battuta Mall is currently open from 9 am to 7 pm as per government directives.
For updates, call 04 390 9999, visit www.ibnbattuta.com or follow @ibnbattutamall on social media.
About Ibn Battuta Mall:
Ibn Battuta Mall, is the world’s largest themed mall, attracting more than 21 million visitors a year. Opened in 2005, the mall highlights the travel experiences of legendary 14th Century Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta thorough six themed travel zones – China Court, India Court, Persia Court, Egypt Court, Tunisia Court and Andalusia Court – reflecting the most influential places he visited during his global journey of discovery and exploration.
At Ibn Battuta Mall, shopping, dining and entertainment blend with history, culture and a story of remarkable adventure. The mall currently offers more than 400 retail, dining and entertainment outlets, two food courts, a 21-screen Novo cinema, a Carrefour hypermarket, Sky Zone indoor trampoline park, Switch Bowling, Chuck E Cheese and Fun City, over 4,500 parking spaces. It is directly connected to the Ibn Battuta Mall Metro station and the Premier Inn Ibn Battuta Mall hotel, with the Avani Ibn Battuta hotel two minutes’ walk away.
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