UAE: 50 free heart surgeries for children announced to honour Lulu's Yusuffali

The surgeries will be performed at specialised hospitals spanning the Emirates, Oman, and India


Ashwani Kumar

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Photo: KT file
Photo: KT file

Published: Mon 1 Jan 2024, 12:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 1 Jan 2024, 12:33 PM

As many as 50 free life-saving heart surgeries for children, especially those from conflict zones and underprivileged backgrounds, have been announced to mark Abu Dhabi-based billionaire businessman Yusuffali M.A. completing five decades in the UAE.

The philanthropic initiative has been initiated by Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the son-in-law of Yusuffali, and the chairman of Burjeel Holdings, one of the largest healthcare services providers in the region.

Dr Shamsheer is married to Dr Shabeena, the eldest daughter of Yusuffali, and the vice-chairperson of VPS Healthcare. The initiative is aimed at children with congenital heart diseases, and pays tribute to Yusuffali’s dream run in the UAE and his contributions to humanitarian causes.

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Yusuffali, the chairman and managing director of LuLu Group International, landed in the UAE on December 31, 1973, and has not only built a successful business empire but also emerged as an influential community leader.

Inspired by Yusuffali’s deep compassion and unwavering dedication to humanity, Dr Shamsheer, himself a healthcare leader and father of three children, is leading the way in championing this initiative.

The surgeries will be performed at specialised hospitals under the umbrella of Burjeel Holdings, spanning the UAE and Oman, and his hospitals in India. Typically, the surgery required to address congenital heart disease comes with a high cost, making it financially challenging for many parents.

Asked about the rationale behind the initiative, Dr Shamsheer noted: “The humanitarian movement is integral to our family ethos. In honouring Yusuffali, we seek to mark a unique celebration by dedicating ourselves to supporting children. Through these 50 life-saving surgeries, we aspire to generate opportunities that inspire children to dream beyond limitations and overcome challenges.”

Dr Shamsheer added that as these surgeries unfold, they symbolise medical interventions and a collective commitment to building a future where every child has the chance to thrive and contribute to society. Dr Shamsheer, whose philanthropic endeavours extend to India through his family office, VPS Healthcare, is optimistic about this heartfelt initiative’s global reach and impact.


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