Abdulkareem Al Olama

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Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama

Dr. Abdulkareem Mohammed Ali Sultan Al Olama (Arabic: عبدالكريم محمد علي سلطان أل علامة‎) is an award-winning Dubai businessman and the founder of the Sultan Al Olama Medical Center; a premier medical care facility located in the Emirate of Dubai. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality at Dubai Healthcare City (2006–present).[1]


Abdulkareem started his career as a business development manager at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) in 2006, where his main responsibility was the development and implementation of new projects within the DHCC framework as a key component of their growth strategy. During his tenure, he developed a business plan with feasibility studies for the Boston University Institute for Dental Research and Education where he played an instrumental role in the establishment of their first branch in the UAE.

He led the concept of Dubai Medical Suites to success while attracting a large number of the country’s notable physicians and surgeons to the project.

The Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR), an initiative of the Harvard Medical School based in the United States of America, appointed Abdulkareem as its Director in order to lead the foundation into a new era of growth and to address the GCC region's most-pressing health problems. He played a major role in the organization’s later successes by developing the strategy used by the DHFMR further and by personally managing to raise more than AED100 million (USD 27.2 million) worth of investment into the Foundation's budget. Abdulkareem is considered responsible for having developed the funding model and accreditation process for the Post Graduate Medical Foundation Program that serves as the core of the Foundation’s selection processes.

He then founded his own chain of designer clinics in the Emirate of Dubai. The Sultan Al Olama Medical Center has 3 branches located in the centres of Dubai's commercial and residential districts, offering services in 14 specialties. The clinics serve a client base composed mainly of Emiratis and western expatriates.

Following the establishment of his clinic, Abdulkareem was appointed Executive Director for the Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality in 2009.[2] The Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ) was first established as an independent regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining best practices in healthcare delivery and patient care at the Dubai Healthcare City. Over time, the CPQ board of Directors has become synonymous with the United Arab Emirates chief decision makers regarding all health policies and initiatives in the country. Abdulkareem was able to introduce a new customer focussed approach in his new role as Executive Director and established a stronger relationship with local, regional and international healthcare authorities while achieving savings in budget, without compromising the quality of services provided. For this, he was rated the most supportive, positive and approachable leader by CPQ Employees.

Al Jalila Foundation Board of Trustees[edit]

Abdulkareem was recently appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Al Jalila Foundation by Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed and Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA). The Al Jalila Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to support medical education and research and to outline a fundraising strategy to raise AED 100 million for the Foundation by the end of 2013.

The main objective of the Al Jalila Foundation is to provide the initial investment for starting research projects that will develop an environment attractive to leading researchers and institutions for conducting research in the GCC region. Other aims of the foundation are in the education of new healthcare professionals, conducting health-awareness campaigns and promoting healthy lifestyles and preventative measures.

Abdulkareem, in his acceptance speech outlined the aims of the Al Jalila Foundation in the following words:

"A nation's investment in research is an investment in its people and their prosperity, and our efforts today will have a direct impact on future generations. Our fundraising efforts, which will revolve around promoting medical education and research and supporting underprivileged individuals who cannot afford healthcare, will, no doubt, meet the needs of Dubai and the region. We have a very extensive network of global industry leaders, distinguished researchers and healthcare experts that we will tap in to." [3]

Awards and recognition[edit]

During his career, Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama has been a recipient of many awards such as the Innovator of the Year and Best Customer Service Project Leader awards, from the Dubai Healthcare City in 2010. He is also a recipient of the Dubai Holding Future Leaders Program “LEADON” Award for Best project.

In 2008, he was nominated for the Dubai Healthcare City CEO’s Leadership award and received a Letter of Recognition for his contribution to the DHCC Academic and Research Council.

Committee membership[edit]

Abdulkareem is considered an eminent figure in the UAE society and serves as the Chairman of the Project Management Board for the Du[4] and Mobile Doctors 24/7 committee which is responsible for overseeing medical transportation facilities all across the UAE. He is also a member for the Board of Directors of the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services and the UAE Nursing and Midwifery Council. He also serves on a number of committees with the Ministry of Health, dealing with various public health issues such as the National Drug Registration & Pricing Committee, Healthcare Committee for Disabled, Healthcare Ethics Committee etc., to name a few.