WAM Dubai, 13 Jan. 2013 (WAM): HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, met with the Board of Trustees of the Al Jalila Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to support medical education and research, to outline a fundraising strategy to raise AED 100 million for the Foundation by the end of 2013.
The meeting was attended by HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, Wife of Sheikh Mohammed and Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), as well as the five members of the Board of Trustees.
Sheikh Ahmed began the meeting by appointing Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor as the Vice-Chairman of the Al Jalila Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees also discussed the key objectives of the Al Jalila Foundation as well as outlined its role in terms of research and education. The Foundation, which will receive its financial resources from Zakat and philanthropic donations (including institutional and individual grants), will support a number of relevant public health issues in the UAE and the region, including but not limited to obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other genetic and non communicable diseases. The Foundation will also provide the necessary funding to support and promote research and education related to those relevant issues.
The main objective of the Al Jalila Foundation is to make available the necessary grant and seed money to start research projects that will create the right environment to attract leading researchers and institutions to conduct their research activities in this region. It will also play a vital role in educating healthcare professionals, conducting health awareness campaigns, and promoting healthy lifestyles and preventive measures. The Board of Trustees also discussed ways to promote the Foundation as well as how to collect and distribute funds once received.
According to the decree, HRH Princess Haya appointed, and HH Sheikh Ahmed and the Board of Trustees ratified, Raja Al Gurg as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Al Jalila Foundation. Al Gurg is well-known for her contributions to the UAE’s education system and a very successful business woman. She currently oversees 26 companies across the Emirates and was nominated by HH Sheikh Mohammed to become the President of the Dubai Women’s Council, a body that functions under the auspices of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce ‘&’ Industry. She also serves as Vice-Chairperson of the Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA).
"Education and research play a major role in not only attracting the proper talent to the UAE, but also retaining them," said Al Gurg. "Unfortunately, the percentage of UAE nationals in the health work force is quite low however, with improved education and research, I firmly believe that our nation is on the right track to becoming better prepared to provide the necessary manpower. The advantages of having more Emiratis in our health sector are evident therefore, we must work together to champion a culture that promotes medical education and encourages the young, local generation to study medicine in order to help serve the people of this Nation." Joining Al Gurg on the Foundation’s Board of Directors are Dr. Khalid Al Zahed, Mr. Marwan Abedin, Mr. Nart Mamser, and Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi. The board will be responsible for setting the strategy; overseeing implementation and ensuring strong corporate governance to empower the foundation to fulfill its objectives.
Furthermore, Sheikh Ahmed and the Board of Trustees ratified, the appointment of Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Alolama as Chief Executive Officer of the Al Jalila Foundation. Dr. Alolama is a seasoned healthcare professional having previously held the position of Executive Director of the Centre for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ), the independent regulatory body of Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), responsible for setting and upholding healthcare standards within DHCC. Prior to heading CPQ, Dr. Alolama was instrumental in the launch of Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR) and brings extensive experience having led the foundation’s fundraising initiatives. Dr. Alolama is a member of the Higher Committee for Medical Research at the Ministry of Health and a member of the Research and Academic Council at Dubai Healthcare City.
"I am extremely honoured to be entrusted by HRH Princess Haya in this new role and look forward to being part of the transformation of medical education and research in the region," stated Dr. Alolama. "A nation’s investment in research is an investment in its people and their prosperity, and our efforts today will have a direct impact on future generations. Our fundraising efforts, which will revolve around promoting medical education and research and supporting underprivileged individuals who cannot afford healthcare, will, no doubt, meet the needs of Dubai and the region. We have a very extensive network of global industry leaders, distinguished researchers and healthcare experts that we will tap in to." The Al Jalila Foundation aims to promote the UAE as a centre of excellence in the field of medical education and research and position Dubai at the forefront of medical innovation. The Al Jalila Foundation embodies the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed to ensure a sustainable future for Dubai, enhancing its global position as a medical hub.