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Etisalat rolls out Dh50m social plans

Etisalat's Nasser bin Abboud Al Falasi

By Abdel Hai Mohamed

Etisalat has spent Dh50 million supporting community activities, said its Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Nasser bin Abboud Al Falasi. The firm was looking to expand its efforts to involve residents in competitions and charity programmes.

Al Falasi spoke to Emirates Business about the telecommunication company's sponsorship initiatives at the launch of a Dream Ball contest for football fans.

Etisalat community events focus on serving people with special needs, activities related to women, car racing and football. Etisalat has earmarked Dh27m to sponsor the UAE Football Federation over the past two years, said Al Falasi.

The company is currently involved in negotiations to sponsor the league, which would be renamed as a professional league in the 2008-2009 season, he said. The Dream Ball competition launched this week is based on subscription by football fans to a club on the internet through etisalat's Weyak service.

Each subscriber attempts to form a team from the country's real-life players, who are "bought" through a fantasy budget of Dh100 million.

Once the team is formed, points will be awarded to each of the players according to the actual achievement made in the UAE 2007-2008 football league. Etisalat is planning to give away big prizes to the best team formed as well as monthly prizes to the best three teams.

Chairman of the Football Federation Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi highlighted etisalat initiatives to support UAE football at the launch of the fantasy league.