The royal laughed and cuddled with children as she opened a brand-new pediatric therapy centre.

HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein’s humanitarian work has been well documented, but her most recent encounter melted even more hearts than usual.

The royal opened a brand-new centre in Dubai this week, a facility dedicated to providing expert, loving care for children with moderate to complex special needs.

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Princess Haya, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, spent time mingling not only with the centre’s staff, but with its young patients.


Is this not the sweetest photo you’ve seen today, if not in some weeks?

princess haya

The High Hopes Pediatric Therapy Centre caters for children between the ages of 0 and 13, treating everything from genetic and neurodevelopmental disorders to delayed development and self-care difficulties.

The facility was set up and funded by Majid and Lynn Jafar, who Princess Haya paid tribute to following her visit.

“Majid and Lynn Jafar’s life changed when their daughter was born with a rare genetic disorder,” wrote the royal on Instagram.

“Today, beautiful Alia is 3 years old and struggles with almost daily epilepsy and other difficulties, unable to walk or talk. Motivated to do all they can to help her, her parents travelled the world in search of the best therapies.

Inspired by all they learned and the daily challenges of Alia and other children with complex special needs, the Jafars have now established High Hopes Dubai Pediatric Therapy Center, which I was proud to open today.”

It’s the first centre of its kind in the region, Princess Haya revealed, and is run on a non-profit basis with a team of hand-picked experts from across the world.

princess haya

The centre has a sensory room and swimming pool on site, and hopes to serves as a “much-needed refuge for children with complex special needs”, said Lynn Jafar.

“High Hopes offers a solution for parents who spend a lot of time trying to find the right services for their children, and settling for less than ideal care – it offers a place where the super special ones can make progress and have fun.”

It’s those children that Princess Haya—who is also chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority—honoured on the day, telling her Instagram followers “their determination is an inspiration to us all”.

princess haya

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“We admire and celebrate the courage and perseverance of all these children and their families each day, and we all aspire for Dubai and the UAE to provide the love and supportive environment to help them lead good lives.”

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Images: Dubai Media Office