Abu Dhabi-based worker wins $100,000
ABU DHABI: A Bangladeshi worker in Abu Dhabi has struck gold by wiring almost Dh1,000 to his brother back home.
Air conditioning technician Salauddin Mohammad Ishaque, 32, could not believe his luck when he won a mega prize of $100,000 (about Dh367,000) last week in the ‘Send Money – Win Dollars’ winter promotion run by the UAE Exchange.
“When I got a call saying I have won $100,000 I thought it was a scam, so I disconnected the line and went back to sleep,” Ishaque recalled.
“The phone kept ringing, but I did not bother to answer. I had no clue my life had changed in that exact moment,” said the worker who earns Dh1,000 a month.
Breaking the news
Reality dawned only when a group of UAE Exchange officials visited him in his one-room shared accommodation the same evening and broke the news.
“I was stunned when these people walked into my room. I did not know what to say. It felt like a dream,” said Ishaque who came to the UAE 12 years ago.
Ishaque remitted money to Bangladesh several times during the promotion period in 2015. But it was a remittance of Dh944 to his elder brother on December 3 that fetched the jackpot.
The winners were announced after draws were conducted at the UAE Exchange offices in Dubai and Sharjah on January 18 and 21.
Five other winners got $10,000 while 50 won $1,000 each.
“I am so thankful to the UAE Exchange for changing my life overnight. I am the sole breadwinner of my family,” said the father of a five-year-old girl who also supports his mother and three siblings.
However, the fact that he has about eight million Bangladesh takas in his bank account is yet to sink in as Ishaque continues to live in his overcrowded rundown labour accommodation in Abu Dhabi’s Mussafah industrial area.
“It is my dream to build a house in my native place in Chittagong. I also want to help destitute people in my village,” he said.
“I am also considering starting a small contracting company in Abu Dhabi.”
But currently he is busy planning to throw a big party for his friends and colleagues.
“We are so happy for him. It is almost like we have also won something,” said his roommate and colleague Jamal Hussain, who is also from Bangladesh.