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Abdul Salam Shanavas, an Abu Dhabi-based driver, won the grand prize in the Mall Millionaire campaign at Khalidiyah Mall.

PHOTO BY SUPPLIED


Indian driver’s ‘secret’ Dh1 million win in Abu Dhabi

 

DUBAI – He arrived in the UAE in 1997 empty-handed, but is now Dh1 million richer thanks to a million-dirham mall raffle in Abu Dhabi.

Abdul Salam Shanavas, an Abu Dhabi-based driver, won the grand prize in the Mall Millionaire campaign at Khalidiyah Mall.

The Keralite, 43, also received a makeover and was driven by a chauffeur to collect his prize. It was surely a welcome change from when he first started as a driver in Sharjah before moving to Abu Dhabi to work as a driver for a family.

Shanavas, who earns a monthly salary of Dh2,500, said he spent more than Dh200 at the mall to enter the draw. He was told on August 5 that he won the draw but had to keep it a secret until an official announcement was made.

He even had to keep it a secret from his wife and two daughters in Kerala, and just told them “there’s a big surprise in store”.

Shanavas said he plans to use his winnings from the Mall Millionaire campaign to start construction of his home in 2021.

The Mall Millionaire campaign was launched at eight malls in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain as part of the 47-day Retail Abu Dhabi summer sales. ICA/Expat Media

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