(L TO R) Mohammad Abdullah Alhaj Al Zarouni, manager Emirates Red Crescent;Dr Ziaul Hassan,President Pakistan Association; Jawed Hasan, Consul General of Pakistan during the networking dinner for Pakistani Exhibitors at Arab Health Congress 2017 at Pakistan Association Photo Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Construction of the first non-for-profit medical centre at the Pakistan Association in Dubai to provide free treatment to the poor will start next month as massive support has started pouring in from community members.

“We have already received pledges of Dh5.4 million out of total construction cost of Dh12 million within a span of five months since the project was launched on August 14 last year,” said Dr Faisal Ikram, general secretary of PAD. He was speaking at the networking dinner organised by PAD in coordination with Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai for the Pakistani delegates participating in the Arab Health 2017 exhibition in Dubai. Some delegates who deal in surgical and medical supplies also promised to provide equipment to the hospital.

Dubai-based Pakistani businessman Mubashar Waheed from Al Itiqan company pledged to furnish the hospital free of cost. Ahmed Shaikhani, president of the Pakistan Business Council, has pledged Dh1 million for the centre on behalf of the council.

“Pakistan Medical Centre is a two-storey building which will provide state-of-the-art health-care facilities at an affordable cost to members of the society who are unable to bear burgeoning medical costs,” said Dr Ziaul Hassan, president of PAD. He said the community members are working together to add value to the services being offered to the less privileged members of the community.

“The medical centre is our dream and it is a gift by Pakistanis for all other communities living in the UAE,” he said, adding that it would be the first-ever medical facility built by the community here. The medical centre will be opened on August 14, 2018.

Mohammad Abdullah Alhaj Al Zarouni, manager of Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai, said the ERC supports the medical centre project. “They are doing great work for the community by providing free health care to all who deserve. We are pleased to cooperate with them on this project,” he said. Jawed Hassan, Consul-General of Pakistan in Dubai, said he is overwhelmed with the amount of community work being done by PAD for the community. “I must say that materialising the medical centre is a job well done and we will support PAD in this project,” he added.

The project is being built based on a novel concept. “We don’t want to raise funds through donation but offer community members to have their share in the medical centre. PAD offers community members 12,000 bricks to own with a price tag of Dh1,000 for each brick in a bid to raise Dh12 million for the construction of the building,” Hassan said.

“Among 1.4 million Pakistanis living in the UAE, at least 12,000 would come forward and engrave their names on the bricks for the Dh12-million project, “ he added.

Those who will ‘own a brick’ for Dh1,000 will also get lifetime membership of the association. The lifetime membership fee is Dh1,000 at present.