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The Emirates Airline Foundation

International Awards

Hamdan Award for Volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services

Foundation and structure:

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline Groups, the Emirates Airline Foundation (EAF) was launched on 25th of February 2003 to provide humanitarian, philanthropic aid and services to children around the world, with the minimum amount of administrative expense.

The Emirates Airline Foundation is a non-profit charity organization, which aims to improve the quality of life for children, regardless of geographical, political, or religious boundaries and to help them maintain or improve their human dignity. The source of funding is donations made by passengers on board Emirates flights and these are used to fund humanitarian projects for disadvantaged children trapped in extreme poverty. The fund is used mainly for education, medical care.


Since its establishment, EAF has funded and donated an estimated AED 32m for various projects in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Maldives, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. In fact, the Emirates Airline Foundation has supported about 40 projects, small and large in about 20 countries. For example in Bangladesh, thousands of villages on the banks of the Brahmaputra are at risk of flooding and people there must migrate to higher grounds all the time. This precarious situation has many challenges, not the least of which is regular access to healthcare facilities. In November 2008, The EAF built the Emirates Friendship Hospital (EFH); a floating hospital, which makes her way up the river and brings the facility to villages along the river. For 4-6 weeks at each location, EFH opens her doors and provides healthcare to rural Bangladeshis. It offers a range of services, including women’s and family health services, cancer screening, surgeries including cleft pallet treatments, orthopedics, eye surgeries and other special treatments as well as dental care. EFH is staffed full-time by the ship’s crew and local Bangladeshi medical staff, in addition to volunteering doctors from Europe and the United States. The ship also boasts a pharmacy and laboratory. The EAF continues sponsorship of the ongoing operation of EFH as well as providing hundreds of air tickets a year to volunteering medical teams from around the world. Recently, the EFH celebrated a milestone by treating its 200,000th patient.

In India, the EAF runs two projects; the Children’s Home in Chennai, for abandoned and orphaned children, most of them are HIV positive. This project offers home to more than 100 destitute children infected with the virus. And the second project is the Lifeline Express, a train which brings medical care to communities in need across India.

In Maldives, the EAF has also helped in tackling Thalassemia with a donation of 5000 filters used in blood transfusion for children affected by the blood disorder. And closer to home, EAF provides considerable and vital support for The Safe Centre for Autism and Asperger’s syndrome and Al Noor Training Centre in Dubai for children with special needs.

Other humanitarian work includes EAF sponsored volunteering surgeons and medical professionals to travel from California and New York to Uganda to provide surgeries, healthcare and trainings with the organizations Medicine for Humanity and Outreach to Africa. During a two-week mission devoted to women’s and family health, the team provided treatment for over 130 patients, as well as lectures and training for doctors and nurses at different sites across the country.

The Foundation received many appreciation shields and letters from those it supported, such as: Kharja Society, Shams Al-Maarif Society and Lifeline Express. Recognition has also been given to those involved in the projects such as doctors and medical staff. 

In recognition of its outstanding contributions, Emirates Airline Foundation is awarded the HAMDAN AWARD FOR VOLUNTEERS IN HUMANITARIAN MEDICAL SERVICES for the Term 2015-2016.