Philanthropists across the UAE have helped raise Dh220 million ($60m) for a 250-bed cancer hospital named in honour of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, the late Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
The Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital – the country's first charity hospital – will have the capacity to care for up to 30,000 people a year and will offer free treatment to those in need.
The centre was announced in April by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who said it would be a fitting legacy to his brother.
The Al Jalila Foundation will oversee the development.
Sheikh Hamdan was one of the cornerstones of the UAE's rapid development over the past 50 years.
He was appointed 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 in March.
He was in his mid-70s.
Donors include Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Easa Al Gurg, Mohammed Ibrahim Obaidullah, Hamad bin Ahmad bin Sougat, the family of the late Abdulla Hassan Al Rostamani, the family of the late Abdul Wahid Hassan Al Rostamani, Abdul Rahim Mohammed Belghozooz Al Zarooni, Abdul Hameed Ahmed Seddiqi, Faizal Kottikollon and Shabana Faizal, Dr Rajen A Kilachand, Raghuvinder Kataria and PNC Menon.
Easa Al Gurg, founder of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation, said he was pleased to contribute to the development of a hospital that will improve the lives of so many.
"Our contribution to build the Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital is a symbol of our commitment to support free medical treatment for cancer patients who would otherwise be unable to afford it," he said.
Khalid Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani, chairman of AW Rostamani Group, said the donation would help celebrate the life of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid and help people all over the country who may not otherwise be able to access health care.
"Our support for the new cancer hospital is our way of giving back to the nation, its people and its residents," he said.
"If we can leave the world a better place we have honoured the legacies of the late Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid and our late father Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani both of whom dedicated their lives to making a difference in the lives of others and improving humanity."
The hospital is expected to open in 2023.
A total of 150 beds will be available in the first phase of the project, before capacity is expanded to 250 beds.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the board of trustees of Al Jalila Foundation, said the hospital would pay homage to the values of the Emirates as it marks its first 50 years.
"As the UAE prepares for its Golden Jubilee and the next 50 years, there is no greater priority than good healthcare and the Al Jalila Foundation aims to play its part in providing medical excellence in the UAE – especially for the most vulnerable in society," he said.
"The Hamdan bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital will bring together innovative expertise, advanced medical technologies and wellbeing strategies to propel the UAE’s vision forward to become a leader in cancer care."