Nearly four years ago, Pakistan Association Dubai successfully launched the Own a Brick campaign under the theme ”One Nation, One Dream.” That is what it merely was at the time – a dream. The purpose was to build the largest community centre in the world – the Pakistan Centre – for expatriate Pakistanis; encompassing seminar rooms, a business incubation centre, a sports café, restaurants, a mosque and of course the Pakistan Medical Centre (PMC) which is the GCC’s first not-for-profit healthcare facility and open to serve all nationalities. A total of 17,000 bricks were assigned for the project with each brick being worth AED 1000. The community was encouraged to own a brick/s which automatically made them members of our organization.
A major milestone was reached when the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan laid the foundation stone of the project in 2017. We dreamt, we saw, and we conquered. What an extraordinary journey we’ve been on since we envisioned the rise of the Pakistan Centre. We joined our forces with generous partners and the rest is history. Each milestone carried us to new avenues and each avenue carved our pathway to our goal. Reflecting on this journey is a way to remind us all that with grit and perseverance, nothing is impossible.
With the support of our one-of-a-kind community, we cannot be more proud to share that we have, in fact, raised the largest community centre in the world for overseas Pakistanis. We finally opened doors in August 2020 and are beyond thrilled to tell our story of how the Pakistani community in the UAE set off to accomplish nothing short of a phenomenal job. We sincerely wish for it to be a source of pride for our Pakistani diaspora in the UAE while also being a hub for other communities to network and connect.