Maghaba was widely credited as the person who brought electricity to Dubai
The man credited for bringing electricity to Dubai, has died.
Veteran businessman Maghanmal Pancholia, who was known as Maghaba by friends, passed away at the age of 95.
Dr Lalchand Maghanmal Pancholia, son of Maghanmal Pancholia, is quoted by Khaleej Times as saying: "The demise of my father is not only a personal loss but also a loss for the Indian community. We pray the values he instilled in us will continue to keep the rich legacy in our family and our community."
Pancholia was one of the UAE’s earliest residents, and initiated a private electricity company in 1957, before being elected director of Dubai Electricity in 1961, a position he held until the organisation was nationalised in 1980.
Pancholia was also chairman of Arabian Trading Agency, founded in Dubai by his elder brother Parmanand Jethanand Pancholia. The family business established its roots in Dubai as a trader of pearls and foodstuff, and today is a major retailer in the city.
He was the founder, chairman and trustee of the Indian High School in Dubai and the founder and permanent trustee of India Club. He was the President of the Indian Association and was also on the advisory board of Emirates Financial Services.
Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul, said: “It is a big loss for the community. He was the father figure for the entire community and someone who also devoted a great deal of time for social activities. He has done great service to India and Indians and the UAE.”
He is survived by two sons and two daughters.