Plans to launch museum dedicated to Dubai’s oldest hospital

Dubai plans to open a museum to commemorate its first hospital, Al Maktoum Hospital.
The initial phase of Al Maktoum Hospital, Dubai’s first, was completed in 1951, although building continued until 1973. Courtesy Government of Dubai
The initial phase of Al Maktoum Hospital, Dubai’s first, was completed in 1951, although building continued until 1973. Courtesy Government of Dubai

DUBAI // Plans to build a museum dedicated to the Al Maktoum Hospital, the first hospital in the city, have been announced.

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority has gathered stories about the hospital from its first doctors and patients as part of the first phase to establish the Al Maktoum Hospital Museum in Al Wasl district.

“Built on the power of storytelling, Al Maktoum Hospital Museum is a living testament to the importance of the community’s involvement in preserving and promoting our history and heritage,” said Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairwoman of the authority’s board of directors.

The museum embodies the nation’s ambitions and marks a “crucial milestone” in the authority’s mandate to strengthen awareness of Emirati national identities through the experiences of citizens and residents, she said.

Dubai healthcare history dates back to the Trucial States era in 1943, with the opening of a small centre in Al Ras, according to the Dubai Health Authority.

Al Maktoum Hospital’s first phase of construction was finished in 1951. Building on the 157-bed hospital continued until 1973.

The hospital treated patients from across the region and was built under the patronage of several emirates before they were united, Dubai Culture said.

The hospital was a milestone in a country where health care was undeveloped, and people who could not afford care abroad relied on traditional remedies, according to health organisations. The UAE had seven hospitals and 700 beds in 1971.

The museum is to be located in the original hospital building. The authority plans to continue crowd-sourcing stories about the hospital for the museum.

Dubai Culture assumed responsibility for ownership and management of Dubai’s museums in April last year, with the mandate of developing current sites on a par with its international counterparts.

Dubai Culture is collaborating with Wasl Properties to preserve the hospital, the authority said.

The company said in January that it had completed the first phase of the Dh1.2 billion mixed-use development project. The development will also include residential units, offices and a Hyatt hotel.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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