Largest art canvas sells for $62 million
The "Journey of Humanity" is split into 70 framed sections spanning 1,595.76 square metres (17,176 square feet) -- equivalent to nearly four basketball courts.
Organisers said in a statement that the work sold for $62 million, double the amount targeted, with the money going to charities helping children.
Andre Abdoune, a French national residing in Dubai -- one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE -- bought all 70 segments on Monday at an auction in Dubai's "Atlantis, The Palm".
"I come from a poor family, and I knew at times how it feels to have nothing to eat, but at least I had the love of my parents, schooling, and support," Abdoune, who runs a crypto-currency business, told AFP.
"The painting was very powerful when I saw it, and, for me, it would have been a mistake to separate the pieces," said the former stock trader.
Abdoune also highlighted the coronavirus pandemic, noting how it had taken a toll on children around the world.
"We have to react, so if I can bring my little piece in the puzzle, I'm happy," he said.
Jafri had aimed to raise $30 million to fund health, sanitation and education initiatives for children in impoverished parts of the world.
The 44-year-old contemporary artist is hoping his painting will spark a humanitarian movement.
Children from 140 countries submitted artwork online to be included in Jafri's creation, which was completed at the end of September.