Dr. Zulekha Daud
Founder and Chairperson Zulekha Healthcare Group
- Dr. Zulekha’s 59-year journey in the UAE reflects selfless service, compassion, and personal visits to royal families, embodying the magic of a caring touch.
In the 1960’s Dr. Zulekha Daud was deputed by the American Mission Hospital in Kuwait to serve as a healthcare professional in the then Trucial States. Along with her husband Dr. Iqbal Daud, she arrived on the airstrip at the British Air Force base in Sharjah. She was the first female General Practitioner who accepted the offer and began her practice in the Trucial States. She is the first recognized Indian woman medical professional and senior most lady entrepreneur in UAE who has worked tirelessly towards the welfare of Emiratis and expats when healthcare access was very limited in the 60’s. In the past 6 decades she has revolutionized the healthcare landscape and inspired others to follow suit.
With her selfless service to the communities she earned the fond title “Mama Zulekha” from her patrons. She has witnessed not only the birth of a nation, but dedicated her life to the service of this country. UAE has been her home for over 59 years now. Equipped with little more than her Arabic and a few rudimentary medicines and instruments, she worked from dawn to dark treating every life with compassion and care. Dr. Daud visited homes of the royal families of UAE and many Emirati citizens at their convenience offering medical assistance. She also had the honor of treating the UAE’s Founding Father, Late Sheik Zayed on a visit to Al Ain with her husband in the mid-1960s and in turn received great hospitality of the Late Ruler.
Dr. Daud has been serving the masses in UAE since 1964 and known as “Mama Zulekha”, a name she has earned for herself, building relationships and knowing faces of people she met and helped throughout. Today the Zulekha Healthcare Group includes two multidisciplinary hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah, as well as UAE medical centers and pharmacies providing specialized services and treatments in over 30 disciplines. Extending her arm of healthcare she has established a hospital by name of Alexis, in Nagpur, her hometown, giving back to her homeland. With grit and focus she has ensured the provision of international healthcare at affordable costs to the residents of central India.
Over the past six decades, Zulekha Hospital has been extending complimentary health checks and services to the community while raising awareness on lifestyle diseases, cancer and more. This year under Dr. Daud’s guidance the team launched a donation program named ‘Afrahoum’ meaning ‘Gifting Happiness” that is an exclusively licensed initiative from the Affairs & Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, UAE. With many needy patients undergoing treatments throughout the year at the facilities of the hospital, the organization sees the need for such an initiative and has sought a special permit to execute the program.
Apart from her immense contribution to the healthcare sector in UAE and India, she has extended her support to enhancing education standards in India by establishing ZED Vocational Training and General Central Shikshan (ZVTGCSS) in Shantinagar, East Nagpur. Dr. Daud is in a constant quest to improve the quality of life for masses from a young age, providing them opportunities to use their talents and stand out as individuals. Many in India are deprived of access to basic education and her effort in bridging the gap is substantial. From book donations to clean drinking water projects, she has overseen and supported many projects in the city of Nagpur in the interest of the underprivileged communities. Her courage and determination with continued passionate service as an inspiring role model for many till date, is commendable. Year after year, she is bestowed with awards and recognition from international media and governance bodies in UAE and India for her business acumen, socially responsible initiatives and generosities.
Dr. Daud has earned immense respect and recognition from the benevolent UAE rulers and global audience, and strives to do much more for the global development in all walks of life. Dr. Daud was honored for her contributions to the UAE by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation in UAE. She is one of several foreign nationals to be recognized as part of the Year of Zayed celebrations organised by the Foreign Ministry’s Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy. Dr. Zulekha Daud was also awarded India’s top most honors for overseas Indians – the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award by the former Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
For her notable work, Dr. Zulekha Daud received the Dubai Quality Appreciation award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. She was also ranked by the Arabian Business magazine as the most influential Indian Woman in Middle East. She was also conferred several accolades for her pivotal role including Forbes listing her as the Top Indian Leader in Middle East. It is an arduous task to truncate Dr Zulekha’s accolades. But she is arguably the highest woman achiever in the UAE from the Indian community. As the founder of one of the largest private healthcare networks in the UAE, she continues to be an epitome of what a woman can achieve through sheer grit and determination, and lot of courage and perseverance.
- After years of dedicated service, Zulekha Hospital was established in Sharjah in 1992. It started off as a 30-bed hospital with basic facilities for Gynaecology, Obstetrics, Surgery, Medicine and Paediatrics.
- Received the Dubai Quality Appreciation award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
- Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah was officially recognised for advanced healthcare for mothers and babies by Sharjah Baby-Friendly City Campaign (SBFC) in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah
“As the world undergoes changes, and healthcare has gone digital, we have witnessed a dramatic evolution in the health paradigm. However, beyond the technology and specialists, something more is there—the magic of a caring touch. At Zulekha Hospital, we strive to provide that personal touch.“