‘PAD hall set for year-end opening’

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, May 08, 2013

Dubai: The long-awaited multipurpose community hall for Pakistani expatriates will be operational after its scheduled completion at the end of this year, as soon as an agreement is signed with two major donors, stated Dr Faisal Ikram, general secretary Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD), in an interview with The Gulf Today on Tuesday.
He revealed that the Pakistani ambassador had approached two major donors to expedite completion of the project.
The total cost of the multi-purpose hall — including a number of facilities — was estimated at around Dhs4 million. So far, Dhs2 million has already been spent on the structure and other facilities. Work on the project had been stopped for the last couple of months due to lack of funding.
Dr Ikram also shed light on the performance of PAD’s current office- bearers. “The current team, during its two-year tenure, has organised around 120 events, which saw strong participation of the community in Dubai and the other emirates. The trend would continue in the future as well,” Dr Ikram said, adding that events to be held in the community hall would include religious lectures, free medical camps and entertainment, besides events to mobilise support for education.
Dr Ikram also pointed that in the last two years, the PAD had not only organised a vast range of programmes for its members and their families, but also focused on building Pakistan’s image in the UAE, where several other communities reside and interact with the community on a daily basis.
“The PAD has around 2,886 full members while 1,500 are associate members, 90 per cent of whom are professionals, and have been promoting the country’s image in their respective fields throughout the UAE,” Dr Ikram said.
He added that groups of professionals such as chartered accountants and business professionals from IBA (Institute of Business Administration in Karachi) had established two additional wings of the PAD, which he said would help extend the Association’s reach within the Pakistani community in the UAE.
The PAD had signed a number of MoUs with different government and non-government organisations with the aim to benefit the community. “Two prominent MoUs signed with local universities would help raise Dhs60,000 annually by way of scholarships for the benefit of Pakistani students.” He added that partnerships are also being entered into with different organisations to support the community.
The two-year tenure of PAD’s welfare and education committee was marked by a number of significant activities, which included prison visits to extend financial support to prisoners. The PAD’s achievements include the release of a dozen prisoners from various jails, after arranging their fine payments and flight tickets to take them back home.
Moreover, the welfare committee had also helped mobilise the community to donate funds and relief goods for the thousands of people affected by floods and other natural calamities in different areas of Pakistan during 2012.

~ by jamilkhan on May 8, 2013.

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