Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, has given a seven-year-old British girl and her family the holiday of a lifetime in Dubai. Molly Bent, who suffers from a rare and incurable genetic eye disease which causes blindness, was invited for a weeklong stay at one of Al Habtoor’s five star hotels.
Molly caught Al Habtoor’s attention when he saw a report about her condition on a news report earlier in the year. It stated that in December 2013 Molly was diagnosed with the degenerative condition Retinitis Pigmentos and was registered visually impaired. The report outlined a ‘bucket list’ of things Molly wanted to do before going blind. Al Habtoor donated to a charity set up for Molly through his foundation, the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Foundation.
Al Habtoor said, “It was a pleasure to host such a lovely family in Dubai. I am happy they got to see some of the highlights of Dubai. Molly is a lovely girl and I pray to God that her condition can be cured. I am willing to help fund any research necessary to make this possible.”
Upon arrival in Dubai, Al Habtoor hosted the family at one of his hotels, the five star Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, and set a busy schedule to see some of Dubai’s most famous attractions for families. Molly was accompanied by her mother Eve, her father Chris and her siblings Charlotte, 5, and Samuel, 2.
The itinerary started with a penguin encounter, a swim with the dolphins, a visit to one of Dubai’s top water parks, as well as a trip to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and Kidzania – an interactive award-winning edutainment center, and a desert Safari. To top it off the family visited the world’s largest shopping center Dubai Mall, and went to the observation deck located on level 124 of the famous landmark – the Burj Khalifa.
“I had so much fun in Dubai and I love it lots!” said Molly. “My favourite bit of the whole trip was getting to swim with Lily the dolphin because it was amazing. I got to dance with her and stroke her, and she was so soft. I also got to go to the top of the tallest tower in the world, which was awesome. I could see everything from up there, I could nearly see my house from the top," she added.
The family also had the opportunity to visit Al Habtoor at the head office of the Al Habtoor Group, a UAE conglomerate.
Molly’s father, Chris Bent, said, “We have been overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of Mr Khalaf Al Habtoor in helping our daughter Molly. Knowing that our daughter has a genetic eye condition Mr Khalaf has provided her with wonderful experiences that she never would have been able to have otherwise.”
“Molly has been able take in sights and enjoy experiences that she could have only dreamed of,” added Eve Bent, Molly’s mother. “She will now have those memories to cherish forever, which as a parent is the greatest gift you can wish for your child. We cannot thank Mr Al Habtoor enough for the memories he has given our daughter.”