Dh11m redevelopment of Dubai community centre to begin in December

A Dh11 million redevelopment of the Pakistan Association Dubai headquarters could begin as early as December, adding a medical clinic, offices, mosque and other facilities to the site in Oud Metha.

DUBAI // A Dh11 million redevelopment of the Pakistan Association Dubai headquarters could begin as early as December, adding a medical clinic, offices, mosque and other facilities to the site in Oud Metha.

Dr Faisel Ikram, the association’s general secretary, said plans would be launched for the redevelopment of the headquarters at the end of next month.

Dr Ikram said the association would be asking for help from its community to raise the Dh11m needed for the scheme.

“We already have pledges from donors so we’re very confident of hitting our target,” he said.

The health clinic development will be a pilot project and the first run by a not-for-profit organisation in the Gulf region, Dr Ikram said.

“With the price of medical insurance so high we want to offer the public a chance of decent health care,” he said.

“It’s going to be a pilot scheme and if it works it might be expanded to other community organisations in Dubai. It’s the first time anything like this is happening in the GCC.”

The clinic will provide a wide range of services including GP, dermatological, dental and radiotherapy.

Staff will be employed by the association, and will be supplemented by professionals who volunteer.

“It will have capacity for up to 150 people and initially we will service Pad members but we may expand that in future,” said Mr Ikram.

“The redevelopment is a real mega-project for us as we aim to deliver better quality services to the community.”

The association’s two existing office blocks will make way for the redevelopment. Work is expected to take between 18 months and two years.

The new development will complement the association’s Dh6.3m community hall, which opened last year.

Plans for the redevelopment were welcomed by Pakistani expatriates.

“This sounds like a good thing because the existing buildings are getting old now and there isn’t much space,” said Saeed Ali, a driver who lives in Satwa.

“Many people in the community cannot afford decent health care so if this can help that would be great. The price of health insurance is so high and it still doesn’t cover everything so this new clinic will be very good.”

Adnan Tahir, an IT specialist living in Bur Dubai, said the new facilities were much needed.

“They should also open it up to the whole community and not just Pad members as people, especially with low incomes, need this a lot,” Mr Tahir said.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Published: July 10, 2016 04:00 AM

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