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Haiti evening at city restaurant

By Keith J Fernandez

Fundraising is now as easy as going to dinner. City restaurant Okku wants to maximise business tonight, but the gesture is motivated by altruism, its owners say.

In response to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti this month, the chi-chi Japanese restaurant at the Monarch Dubai Hotel is organising Okku Loves Haiti, a charity fundraising evening today.

Proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the UAE Red Crescent to help provide much-needed aid to the devastated Caribbean country through its Haiti Disaster Relief Fund. The event has been organised in concert with the In Dubai?We Trust initiative.

Markus Thesleff, Okku Co-Founder says he wants to raise as much money as he can. "We will be happy with any amount we manage to generate," he told Emirates Business.

"It is possible that many people who have already made reservations prior to this announcement do not even know that Okku plans to donate the proceeds from dinner," he said, denying that the event is a canny attempt to generate business in lean times.

"The winners here have to be the people in Haiti and if along the way the people in Dubai can play a positive part while enjoying something we do everyday then this is a perfect start."

Thesleff said he and his team want to show other businesses that they can make a difference by setting up similar initiatives, even if it's "very little making a big difference".

"We are doing this as we think it's the right thing to do. We believe in supporting family and community. Family doesn't just have to mean local or blood relations. It also extends to the global community, especially those in desperate need such as the people in Haiti."


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