Large gift from Abu Dhabi ruler to Hopkins

May 5, 2007 at 9:07 PM

BALTIMORE, May 5 (UPI) -- Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, has agreed to make a large gift to Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

The size of the gift has not been disclosed, but officials at Hopkins describe it as "transformational," The Baltimore Sun reported. The money is to be used to complete construction of two 12-story towers at Hopkins Hospital -- with one to be named after the sheik's late father -- and for an AIDS research program in Uganda and heart research at Hopkins.

Steven Rum, associate vice president for development at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said an agreement was signed Monday in Abu Dhabi, in a scene that reminded him of a European peace conference. Those present included the president and other top officials from Johns Hopkins University, and government ministers and members of the royal family.

The sheik was first approached months ago about the donation by his own doctor and a Johns Hopkins doctor who has worked closely with him.

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