Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi, vice chairman of Seddiqi Holding
The Dubai-based Ahmed Seddiqi family, one of the world’s biggest luxury watch and jewellery retailers, has donated Dhs10m to the Al Jalila Foundation to fund medical research in the UAE focused on Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.
The Al Jalilia Foundation, a member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, was established in 2013 and has since then invested over Dhs25m in medical research and awarded 95 research grants and eight international research fellowships to address the region’s biggest health challenges: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and mental health.
It has now decided to expand its field of research into Covid-19 which has infected over three million people worldwide and killed over 217,000 people, according to global Covid-19 tracking website Worldometer.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) April 28, 2020
“The world is going through a very challenging time and we salute the healthcare workers on the frontlines working tirelessly to save lives. We have been working closely with Al Jalila Foundation over the years and we are honoured to support the organisation’s mission to advance medical research in the UAE,” said Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi, vice chairman of Seddiqi Holding.
“It is our national duty to safeguard the health and safety of our people and continue to uphold the values of philanthropy, compassion and service to humanity instilled by our forefathers,” added Abdul Ahmed.
Meanwhile, Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, expressed his gratitude to the Seddiqi family and said: “We are extremely grateful for this significant donation from the Ahmed Seddiqi family who, like us, believe that investing in medical research is critical to the longevity and sustainability of future generations. The world has changed significantly and as we go through this critical phase, we are depending on science to save lives. Now more than ever we are counting on scientists and doctors coming together to develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, and gain a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biology to combat the disease.”
The Al Jalila Foundation has already established its first independent multi-disciplinary biomedical research institute with an investment of Dhs200m solely funded by philanthropic partners.
In February, the foundation launched ‘Bassmat Rashid Bin Saeed’ – dedicated to the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum – to address the healthcare needs in the UAE. Bassmat is the Arabic word for ‘fingerprint’ and the foundation says that it signifies the power donors have to leave a mark on the future of medicine through this fundraising campaign.
“This pandemic has united the world like never before. Now more than ever, scientists around the world continue to search for answers into the causes, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting mankind with the coronavirus taking centre stage. Our investment in medical research reaffirms our commitment to embed research and innovation in the fabric of the nation’s long-term healthcare strategy and to adapt to the changing landscape. Medical research has the potential to save lives and our efforts today will pave the way for a healthier world for future generations,” said Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, chairperson of the board of directors and member of the board of trustees of Al Jalila Foundation.
On April 15, the Dubai’s Covid-19 Command and Control Center (CCC) confirmed the completion of the first full genome sequencing of the Covid-19 virus.
The sequencing from a patient in Dubai was performed by researchers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.
In the UAE, the Covid-19 virus has infected 11,380 people, resulting in 89 deaths. Also, 2,181 people have recovered from the disease.