Dubai: Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki is on a mission to attract investment for delivering the highest quality healthcare in Dubai.
As director of Healthcare Investment and PPP (Public Private Partnership) Projects for Dubai Health Authority (DHA), she is the right woman for the job.
The Emirati mother-of-two is in charge of developing various health projects within her realm of responsibility, alongside leading, advising and guiding on best practice and the group’s expansion initiatives within the UAE.
She previously headed the Health Strategy and Performance team for UAE Vision 2021 at the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The investment arm of the DHA provides a comprehensive Dubai Health Investment guide to investors. In the next three years, we will be focusing heavily on digital health, rehabilitation services, urgent care clinics, mental health, chronic disease and home-based care. From an investment focus we are looking at precision medicine, genetics and nursing home care,” she said.
Roots in Bastaki
Her roots go back to the narrow alleys of Dubai’s historic district Bastaki – hence her family name. “As an Emirati woman I was given a scholarship to pursue my college and I wanted to deliver the best,” she said, adding she was inspired by the UAE leadership.
Dr Ibtesam, whose father Ibrahim Abdulla Al Bastaki is a former banker and mother Naseem Ahmed Al Amiri is a homemaker, said much of her success has been thanks to her upbringing, which she hopes her children too will emulate.
Her children - a 20-year-old son studying international business at university and 16-year-old daughter who is in school - know what it takes to earn success.
Dr Ibtesam described her childhood as a happy one, with academics being a strong focus area for her.
In 1992, she left for Dublin to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She graduated in 1999 and returned to Dubai where she started a year-long internship at DOHMS. From 2000 until 2004 she worked as Internal Medicine Senior House Officer (SHO) at Central and Al Jazeera Hospitals in Abu Dhabi. She then obtained her degree in family medicine and started work as a specialist in 2009. “I worked in various healthcare fields from government to private entities. I also had the opportunity to work at the Prime Minister’s Office,” she added.
Message for women
“I was very active in my school. I studied in a convent school which was very strict and instilled a sense of discipline in me,” she said.
“Life is not easy. There are many challenges that we, not just as Emirati women but as women in general, find along the way. My advice to everyone is find your strength and follow your passion. Work hard to achieve your goals. When you accomplish what you set out for, it is a great feeling,” she added.