Local fans of the philanthropist Salman Khan have reason to rejoice, as the Bollywood actor has by his own admission stated that Dubai will be next in the scope of expansion for his charitable Being Human Foundation, with merchandise launching across stores here by April 15.
There has been talk aplenty over the years with Being Human making waves in the country with a special fashion show organised back in 2010 by Khan’s brother, Sohail, followed by several charitable cricket matches that has witnessed a bevy of Indian film stars descend onto Dubai on occasion.
The merchandise, including t-shirts, shirts, trousers and watches, retailing here was only a matter of time.
Industry insiders had already confirmed the timeframe, but Khan himself admitted to the business move in an interview with India’s Hindustan Times, stating: “Around April 15, we will launch the line in Dubai and it will be available in over 100 stores across the UAE.”
He added: “Next month, it will come to Mumbai. Soon, not just at Cotton World, authentic Being Human merchandise that includes tees, shirts, trousers, jeans and watches will be available across the city."
Khan, who recently also became the brand ambassador for the online travel bookings website, Yatra.com, has repeatedly been quoted in the media for conjuring up marketing techniques to allow for the growth of his Being Human Foundation.
Even with his Yatra.com tie up, customers have the option of making a small donation every time they book a ticket or holiday package. Being Human merchandise will also be sold via the travel portal, with proceeds going to the NGO.
Reports have also stated that Khan has picked up less than five per cent stake in the travel company to help him further Being Human’s network.
In the past, the nonconformist actor has ensured that his film work doesn’t come in between his charitable ventures, with Khan always making time for special screenings for the underprivileged.
Khan, whose Being Human organisation has helped raise hundreds of thousands to help the needy, has also pledged giving a part of his income to the film industry workers who don’t earn enough to make ends meet.
In a chat with Emirates 24|7 earlier, the actor said: “I haven’t decided how much of my income will be given from each film or how the breakdown will occur. I also am unsure of whether a formal unit will organise the cut or would I go straight to the 22 associations of workers in the industry.”
The actor may be media shy about speaking about his personal charity work, but when asked about his feelings on fake Being Human merchandising entering the market, the actor sees red.
Without being able to print the colourful words he used to describe these pirates, he said: “These dogs are sick people who don’t realise that this is money not for big corporations but for poor, underprivileged people. They are stealing from them. They should be ashamed of themselves.”
An average Being Human t-shirt costs between Rs600-Rs900 (Dh50-70), with Khan requesting his fans that he prefers they not promote his merchandise at all, as opposed to wearing fakes.
Whilst one hopes his millions of fans are listening in, rumour mills are also abuzz that a Being Human chain of cafes and restaurants are also on the future marketing plan.
Watch this space for more information.