More than Dh330 million has been raised to fund construction of a pioneering Dubai cancer hospital.
The Hamdan bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital edged closer to its Dh750 million ($204.2 million) fundraising target thanks to a Dh30 million donation by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.
The huge total has been collected in less than four months, thanks to financial support from philanthropists, government and non-government organisations and businesses.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced the establishment of the 250-bed hospital, named after his late brother, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, in April.
He said the facility would have the capacity to treat up to 30,000 people a year.
Al Jalila Foundation is overseeing the development of the country's first charity hospital, which will offer free treatment to low-income patients.
“Health is the cornerstone of a nation’s longevity, economic development and sustainability and Al Jalila Foundation aims to build medical capacity to strengthen the UAE’s health system," said Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation.
"The health and well-being of the UAE’s citizens and residents is one of our top priorities and the Hamdan bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital will become a leader in cancer care serving patients in need. We are grateful to Dewa and the philanthropic community for coming together to help make quality health care accessible to the most vulnerable in society.
“This hospital commemorates the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's legacy in humanitarian and charity projects in the development, urban, educational and medical sectors. Since the UAE union was established by the Founding Fathers, the country has pioneered in humanitarian work worldwide."
The ongoing support of donors will help turn a grand healthcare vision into a reality.
“Donor support is an integral part of our success in developing the Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital and we are grateful to our long-term partner Dewa who has committed to helping us realise our vision to support cancer patients and their families," Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, chief executive of Al Jalila Foundation, said.
"The hospital will bring together cancer expertise and make an invaluable contribution to the country’s healthcare sector putting patient care first.”
The cancer hospital, spread over an area of 50,000 square metres, will provide outpatient, ambulatory and diagnostic services as well as inpatient and surgical services.
It will be built in two phases, with phase one expected to open at the end of 2023 with 150 beds and the capacity to treat 30,000 patients a year.
Sheikh Hamdan, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, died in March after a period of poor health. He was in his mid-70s.
He was one of the cornerstones of the UAE's rapid development over the past 50 years.
He was appointed as Minister of Finance in the Cabinet under Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, after the formation of the country in December 1971 and held the post until his death.