UAE healthcare billionaires donate half of wealth to Bill Gates Giving Pledge

Founders of VPS Healthcare and NMC Health join pledge to donate half their wealth to good causes

Dr BR Shetty donated half of his wealth to The Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, invites the world’s wealthiest philanthropists to commit more than half of their wealth to charitable causes. Christopher Pike / The National
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Philanthropists in the UAE have been added to the latest list of global businessmen and women to donate half their wealth to good causes.

Doctors at the head of two of the region's largest private healthcare providers, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, who founded VPS Healthcare, and NMC Health founder B R Shetty, are among 14 philanthropists added to The Giving Pledge.

The Pledge was created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and business magnate Warren Buffett in 2010 to support good causes around the world.

“For us, success means having created something that can make a positive and sustainable difference in the lives of people,” said Dr Vayalil, who was named on the list with his wife Shabeena.

Mr Shetty has seen NMC grow to become part of the FTSE100 index, and he also founded Neopharma, a fast-­growing global pharmaceutical company.

“It is a crime when you are able to help others and choose not to,” Mr Shetty said in his Giving Pledge letter.


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The Giving Pledge is a global effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by encouraging the wealthiest individuals and families to give the bulk of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

The 183 pledgers range in age from 32 to 94.

Now in its eighth year, the effort continues to grow with the addition of philanthropists from Canada, India, the United States and the UAE.

Many of the new additions to the Giving Pledge are already actively engaged in philanthropy, providing support to a range of causes

"In the past eight years, we've been inspired by the philanthropists who have chosen to join the Giving Pledge, and this year's group is no exception," Mr Buffett said. "They are passionate about using their wealth to reduce inequities and improve the lives of everyone in the world. We welcome their energy, enthusiasm and creativity, and look forward to learning from them as we work to ensure our giving makes a difference."