Shaikh Nahyan tours the photo exhibition highlighting UAE-Pakistan ties at the Pakistan Association Dubai. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Close UAE-Pakistan ties were highlighted during a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Pakistan Centre in Dubai on Monday.

The event, attended by over 700 people, was held at the Pakistan auditorium in collaboration with the Pakistan embassy during celebrations marking 70th Pakistan Independence Day

The auditorium is located on the premises of the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD).

Pakistan Centre, expected to be ready in 18 months, will be a non-profit low-cost medical centre open to all nationalities.

Its foundation stone was laid by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Shaikh Nahyan said: “The association’s attention to the medical needs of the Pakistani community strikes me as being especially commendable. Today’s ground-breaking for the Pakistan Centre is a fitting tribute to the ideals of Pakistan on its 70th Independence Day. The successful relationship between our two countries contributes greatly to regional progress and stability. I am confident that the bonds between Pakistan and the UAE will strengthen and that our two countries will move forward together toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.”

Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE, said: “UAE has been a trusted ally and a significant development partner. On our 70th anniversary we reaffirm our commitment to peace, security, stability and continued prosperity to the UAE and to the Pakistan-UAE friendship.”

Pakistan Centre, being built at a cost of Dh12 million, will be a two-storey building comprising a medical centre, health and fitness centre, restaurant, business incubation centre, seminar rooms, offices and a mosque.

Dr Abdul Bari, founder of Indus Hospital, and Mohammad Hassan, chancellor of Riphah University, flew in from Karachi especially for the event.

Indus hospital will set up paperless medical records at the Pakistan Centre while Riphah University will provide equipment and staff for an indefinite time at the centre’s dental unit.

Monday’s event also included awards for 15 members of the Pakistani community for their service in education, health, social development, business and banking, philanthropy and other areas.

A photo exhibition highlighting the decades-old friendship between Pakistan and UAE was also held.