x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Mystery Emirati donates Dh10 million to UAE medical charity

It is the largest single anonymous contribution the charity has ever received and will be used to help improve health care and boost crucial medical research.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid accompanied by his youngest daughter, Sheikha Al Jalila, at the official launch of the Al Jalila Foundation. Photo courtesy of Wam
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid accompanied by his youngest daughter, Sheikha Al Jalila, at the official launch of the Al Jalila Foundation. Photo courtesy of Wam

DUBAI// A mystery philanthropist has made a Dh10 million donation to the medical research charity Al Jalila Foundation.

It is the largest single anonymous contribution the charity has received and will be used to help improve health care in the country and also boost investment for crucial medical research.

The only clue to the identity is that the donor is an Emirati. No other details have been released by the charity.

"This exceptionally generous donor shares our belief that today's medical research can unlock tomorrow's solutions and bring long-lasting improvements for our population," said Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, a member of the foundation's board of trustees and chairman of the board of directors.

"The UAE is synonymous with compassion, and such acts of generosity embody our national spirit.

"With more contributions from the wider community, we can facilitate more research to ease the burden on those affected by various health problems."

The cash will be invested in the foundation's research endowment that will be used to focus on tackling healthcare issues specifically related to the UAE and the region.

Overall the endowment now stands at about Dh60m, with charity officials hopeful of meeting their Dh100m target by the end of the year.

"Most people picture medical research as scientific reactions in a laboratory, but we should never forget the 'reactions' that happen behind the scenes to make those tests possible," said Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, the charity's executive officer.

"We hope this heartwarming example shows the public that we are all part of the same chain reaction and that together we can work towards a healthier future underpinned by a strong medical research culture.

"Whether we are spreading hope, gathering contributions or uncovering medical breakthroughs, we all impact each other's lives."

Last week the foundation announced an annual Dh3m scholarship programme for the brightest and best Emirati medical students.

The scheme will pay for university fees in a variety of health and medical courses.

The deadline for scholarship applications is August 1.

The foundation is also providing specialised training for 400 Emirati parents of children to help them to better care for their youngsters.

Families interested in taking part must register via the charity's website by September.

The foundation was established by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, in November last year and is named after his daughter.

It was inaugurated in April and given the task of raising funds into research for a wide range of diseases and medical conditions.

For more information about the foundation or to make a donation, email info@aljalilafoundation.ae, call 800-ALJALILA or visit www.aljalilafoundation.ae

nhanif@thenational.ae