Tributes paid to Indian businessman who became 'pillar of Dubai community'

Friends remember GB Choithram Jethwani, who died of a heart attack

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Businessman GB Choithram Jethwani, known widely as a pillar of the Indian community in Dubai, has died at the age of 90.

The chairman of Gee Bee Group of Companies died at home on Sunday after a heart attack.

His death has been described as a sad loss to the Indian community and to Dubai.

Jethwani started up his company after arriving to the emirate in the 1950s, with a focus on manufacturing, trading, imports and exports, as well as distribution.

“He was a good soul who will be missed by the entire community,” said Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple in Dubai.

“I remember meeting him on my second day in Dubai 44 years ago and we became close.

“He was a very religious man who was known for being considerate.”

Jethwani was also known as one of the founding trustees of Indian High School, Dubai, and was a former president of Dubai Indian Association and Indian Sports Club.

Dr Lalchand Pancholia, who works in Dubai as a radiologist, said Jethwani was a close friend of his late father, Maghanmal.

“They did great work together for the community, and GB had so much time for everyone. He was renowned for his philanthropic work,” said Dr Pancholia.

“I remember when I was starting my own career and he had great advice to give me.

“He was also a big lover of dal bati curry, and my father would often invite him over to have dinner with us.”