Thumbay group to create 1,500 jobs over three years

AJMAN — Thumbay Group, a leading healthcare and medical education provider, recently announced its Dh350m expansion plan which is expected to create thousands of new jobs in the UAE. In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Thumbay Moideen, Founder President of Thumbay group shared his thoughts on the proposed expansion of the Gulf Medical University and the launch of its international operations with a new hospital in Malawi.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Thu 18 Nov 2010, 11:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:27 AM

What do you aim to achieve with Thumbay Group’s ‘Vision 2020’?

We want to have a global presence with hospitals and universities in different countries. ‘Vision 2020’ is our masterplan that includes the opening up of new hospitals in Ajman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi along with other international projects which include the opening of branch campuses of the Gulf Medical University (GMU). The expansion plan in its first phase will cover several new projects and the investment apart from promoter’s equity will be financed through Islamic Banks. In the long term, we plan to build 15 new hospitals over the next seven years.

What facilities will be included in the GMU’s first phase of expansion?

The Gulf Medical University, which has a campus spread across an area of 25 acres of land and a built-up area of 2 million square feet will be the first-of-its-kind full-fledged campus with a 300-bed specialty hospital, a mosque, a health club, an expanded library, housing and hostel facilities for faculty and staff, a convention center, an amphitheatre, and a restaurant.

All these will be ready by 2012 as part of the first phase expansion.

How many jobs will be created with the proposed expansion of Thumbay Group?

Currently, Thumbay group has 1200 employees and with our expansion plans we expect to create over 1500 new jobs in the next three years. More than 50 per cent of these new jobs will be created in the healthcare sector with the opening of new hospitals in Ajman and Dubai.

What was the reason behind rebranding Gulf Medical University and the GMC Hospital?

I believe we have reached a stable stage and now we are ready to expand our operations internationally. Our dream of building a global presence could only be achieved after repositioning ourselves as one of the leading healthcare and medical education providers in the UAE. Currently, we are changing our business plans and the ‘Vision 2020’ will see the group expand overseas while building on the existing infrastructure in our Ajman facility.

What are your expectations from the healthcare education sector in the UAE?

Healthcare education is a very lucrative business and we have continued to grow at a rate of 25 per cent even during the financial slowdown. Over the next five years, we plan to build three international campuses outside the UAE. We are also looking for opportunities to expand our hospital operations outside the UAE.Medical education and the healthcare industry are inter-related. We can introduce more programs in our university only if our network of hospitals can accommodate these students for medical practice. Currently, over 600 students are enrolled in various programs at the university and another 300 students are expected to benefit from the short term programs.

What was your objective when you started the Thumbay group?

I came to the UAE with my brothers and decided to start a real-estate company. A chance meeting with the royal family of Ajman changed everything. We started as the first private medical college in the UAE. When we first approached the ministry of education for the accreditation, there was no provision to accredit private medical education providers. In a way we have been trendsetters.

What were the challenges when you founded the Thumbay Group?

When we started operations, there were very few private higher education providers in the UAE. To support the medical college we had to build a hospital as required by the ministry. The investment and efforts needed to build this infrastructure were massive.

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