A grateful businessman has pledged Dh10 million for the construction of a pioneering Dubai cancer hospital to commemorate his wife's own battle with the disease.
Yaseen M Jaffer, chief executive of manufacturing firm Proclad Group, was determined to play his part in the fight against cancer to thank the healthcare workers who supported his family during their time of need.
The Hamdan bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital will provide vital assistance to many more people when it opens its doors.
The 250-bed hospital was established by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, in April.
The centre, which will have the capacity to treat up to 30,000 people a year, was named after his late brother, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, who died in March after a period of poor health. He was in his mid-70s.
"My wife's fight against cancer inspires me to express my appreciation and immense gratitude for the care and treatment that she received," said Mr Jaffer.
"I am proud to support Al Jalila Foundation in its mission to provide cancer patients with quality treatment in the UAE. This charity hospital will be a symbol of hope for patients who will be able to receive treatment at home while receiving the support of their families.
"With cancer survival rates improving, there is a great need to support local cancer programmes and initiatives and help strengthen the support network available to cancer patients and their families. I hope to inspire others to support the Foundation's noble cause and contribute towards the building of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital in Dubai."
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid - in pictures
The foundation has already raised Dh350m of its Dh750m target to fund construction, thanks to a flood of donations from philanthropists, government and non-government organisations and businesses.
The hospital will be built in two phases, with the first due to open in 2024 with 150 beds.
"The health and well-being of the UAE’s citizens and residents is one of Al Jalila Foundation’s top priorities," said Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, chief executive of the foundation.
The hospital "is set to become a leader in cancer care serving patients in need. Donor support is an integral part of our success in developing the state-of-the-art hospital and we are grateful to Yaseen Jaffer and his family for their generous donation.
"The hospital will offer unparalleled cancer expertise and make an invaluable contribution to the country’s healthcare sector putting patient care first."
Mr Jaffer also visited a new women's cancer drop-in centre, Majlis Al Amal, to see how it is improving lives.
Majlis Al Amal, which in Arabic means Hope Lounge, is the first community centre dedicated to female cancer patients and their well-being.
It was launched by the foundation to support patients, survivors and their loved ones. All services offered at the centre are free of charge.