Finger on the pulse of Gulf healthcare

Fast-expanding Anglo Arabian Healthcare has already built up a considerable portfolio of brands in Dubai and the northern emirates. Backed by the likes of Waha Capital, it will shortly be looking at expansion into the rest of the Gulf


Dania Alsammarae, co-founder of Anglo Arabian Healthcare.

Dania Alsammarae, co-founder of Anglo Arabian Healthcare.

As an entrepreneur, you’re essentially an opportunist who, through creativity and ambition, is able to create value — social or economic,” says Dania Alsammarae, the co-founder of Anglo Arabian Healthcare. The UAE-based company owns and operates 16 assets, employs over 300 people —  including 60 doctors — and serves over 400,000 registered outpatients, with average daily visits of over 1,500 patients.

“Nothing compares to the challenges that you will face in setting up your own business. When you are in a big corporate, you’re sheltered. You’re working within someone else’s defined goalposts, but when you step out on your own, you’re exposed; it’s all on your shoulders,” says Alsammarae.

“It’s challenging but all of that hard work, effort and ambition is because at the end of the day we believe in what we’re doing and we believe as we progress we will be improving healthcare.”

Alsammarae was one of four co-founders behind Anglo Arabian Healthcare (AAH), all of whom identified an opening in the healthcare industry in the UAE. The concept was initially thought up by CEO Mark Adams, previously CEO at Gulf Healthcare International (GHI), who felt the market was crying out for an integrated healthcare network.

“The idea was to establish a portfolio of brands, acquire majority stakes into a number of operating assets, establish some greenfield assets and organise it all into a feeder hub and spoke network.

“He approached me and asked my thoughts on the idea and if I was willing to take the leap and join AAH to develop it further.

“At the time I was working in a stable and lucrative position with Pfizer but I had always planned to do something entrepreneurial. So when the opportunity presented itself, I felt the risk was worth it.

”It meant I could embark on effecting change in healthcare delivery in a much larger platform, which had been my goal even as a practising physician.”

Adams and Alsammarae were joined in the self-funded venture by marketing director Julie Adams and chief operating officer (COO) Kieran Watts.

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