Several businesses across the Middle East have issued stark warnings that they are dangerously close to running out of charity bandwagons that they can shamelessly jump aboard.
According to Marjane Brix, head of marketing at Abu Dhabi’s Ocean Millennium View hotel, the 5-star establishment has just two weeks left of ‘charity’ brunches before it runs dry of international aid initiatives it can brazenly exploit to promote its own dining offerings.
“I mean, we’ve got the Feed The Planet buffet, with unlimited grape beverages, next weekend and the Peace One Day all-you-can-eat Champagne brunch the weekend after, but following that, the diary’s empty,” she said.
A similar concern was echoed by Siddiq Gunther of the Sunshine Plaza Mall in Qatar, where its week-long ‘Shop For Africa’ sales promotion is drawing to a close.
“If nothing arrives soon, next week could be our first in four years where we haven’t unashamedly taken advantage of a good cause for our own commercial gain,” he said, adding that as a last resort he was thinking of simply repeating last month’s ‘Earth Hour’, where the mall dimmed the lights in the employee bathrooms for 60 minutes and issued 15 press releases highlighting the fact.
Several major charities are believed to be in the process of urgently devising new aid-related events tailored to the marketing needs of Middle East businesses.
“It’s a hugely important issue for us and we’re doing our utmost to ensure these companies have enough charity programmes to see them through the month,” said Beatrice D’Ponte of Save The Children.
“After all, how can we expect people to really understand the plight of Syria’s child refugees – or even issues such as global warming, food shortages and women’s rights – without a glass of bubbly in their hand?”