UAE’s first social club for elderly opens

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UAE’s first social club for elderly opens

Launched in a bid to improve and enhance the inclusion of the elderly in all social activities and events in the country, the centre was inaugurated by Shaikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 30 Oct 2014, 11:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:51 PM

Elderly persons at the Thukher Social Club. — Supplied photo

The UAE’s first social club for the elderly, which was opened to the public on Tuesday, comes fully equipped with all things traditional and contemporary, and its very own Guinness World Record title.

Launched in a bid to improve and enhance the inclusion of the elderly in all social activities and events in the country, the centre was inaugurated by Shaikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

In conjunction with the opening of the Thukher Social Club, the largest-ever Arabic coffee thermos, crafted by elderly national Ismail Al Safar, was also presented for the first time in front of the club. Measuring 2.6 metres high and 1.8 metres wide, the copper thermos took four months to craft and has entered the Guinness Book of World Records.

A gift to the elderly

The Thukher Social Club, located in Al Barsha, is wrapped like a gift box in recognition of all that the elderly have given to the country. An initiative of the Community Development Authority (CDA), Thukher has been set up to encourage these elderly locals to change their lifestyle and allow them to socialse and engage others like them.

CDA Director-General Khaled Al Kamda was also present on the day and said the opening of such a centre was long-awaited. “This initiative supports our core objectives in CDA and is part of our strategic plans to change the lifestyle of the elderly to be more positive and joyful.”

To “isolate and shelter” elderly people is not part of the “UAE culture”, he stressed. “We want to encourage their contribution to all our life aspects and want to facilitate this contribution.”

Thukher includes several dedicated sections for traditional handcrafts and folk games, a library containing books and even tablets to display e-books and research. Kitted out with a private lounge for social gatherings and discussions, the centre also boasts its own health club, massage room and barbers.

Additionally, the club includes several rehabilitation centres and has a number of outdoors facilities, including a mosque and service rooms.

During Tuesday’s opening, Shaikh Mansoor spoke to the Thukher team about the different programmes on offer, including one which will see the elder nationals transferring their knowledge and experience to the youth.

“This club is the first of its kind in the UAE and will allow good environment for the elderly to practice their hobbies and meet each other and learn about life developments,” he said.

Four social workers will be dedicated to work in the Thukher Social Club and youth volunteers wishing to donate their time and efforts to take care of the elderly are welcome to register their names at the CDA. — kelly@khaleejtimes.com



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