You won’t find too many doctors in Dubai who can stake a claim having begun their practice here way back in the 1930s. Dr Abdulhussain Kamkar is one of the very few, starting ‘Dr Abdulussain Kamkar Clinic’ in what is now Dubai’s Gold Souk, in 1939 with the blessings of none other than the Ruler of Dubai.
His storehouse of memories - of treating patients accustomed to going nowhere for relief from their sickness - is rich and fascinating to hear and is the stuff of legend. There is the one about a patient, Abdullah bin Dasmal, making his slow and painful way back from Muscat, on the back of a camel, who met up with Sheikh Saeed, the then Ruler of Dubai who was out on a hunting expedition. Invited to join the hunt, Abdullah declined saying, “No, I am going home to die”. “Go see the new doctor in Dubai,” Sheikh Saeed tells him. “He will cure you”. He does and he is cured and lives happily for many years after that. Abdullah bin Dasmal also had a seemingly incurable kidney stone problem. Dr Kamkar expelled the stone with one injection.
In fact, the reputation of the doctor has travelled much faster than him. Recently, when he visited the prestigious Mayo Clinic in America everyone there seemed to know his name leaving Dr Kamkar wondering “How come?” Indeed, the good old doctor’s fame has spread far and wide.
One of the very, very few nationals to choose medicine as a profession in the early 1930s, Dr Kamkar did his initial studies in Teheran. He wanted to go to India, and from there to France, to pursue higher studies. He, along with Rais Abdul Rahim Hassan Saadi, went to meet Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum seeking a letter to the British Consular Charge d’Affaires to facilitate the trip. Sheikh Saeed, however, insisted that Dr Kamkar stay and practice in Dubai. Dr Kamkar declined, but when disturbances erupted in India, Sheick Saeed asked Dr Kamkar to extend his stay in Dubai. The benevolent ruler instructed that Dr Kamkar be given accommodation and a clinic. He also put Ahmed Al Adab, the private servant of Sheikh Khalifa bin Saeed under Dr Kamkar’s service.
The clinic set up by Dr Kamkar earned an exemplary name for its excellent general medicine. Dr Kamkar used to treat many members of the Dubai and Abu Dhani ruling families, and recalls that many patients used to finally come to him after going to many other places for treatment and not getting better. Attending to illness day and night, Dr Kamkar spared no effort in carrying out his duty towards the people. He was the private doctor for Sheikh Shakhboot when he used to go to Abu Dhabi to attend his patients. “I worked from my heart and for many of my patients their illnesses would leave them as soon as I walked through their door”, Dr Kamkar says. “In fact, many of them would stock up medicines I prescribed for them and would refuse to go to anyone else.”
In 1997, the Clinic was transformed into Dr Kamkar Medical and Physiotherapy Center and offers in addition to general medicine, physiotherapy, dentistry and acupuncture treatments. The Center runs under the watchful eyes of its founder despite his advancing years. He is gradually handing over the reins to his son, Abdulaheem Azeem Kamkar, so as to make some time to read medical journals and study herbal medicine, a field he has always been interested in.
A self-confessed fitness buff, the soft-spoken Abduladheem Kamkar is a post-graduate in Sports Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Pennsylvania, and deliberately chose not to follow his father’s footsteps in “a career as an MD”. A specialist in Manual Therapy, he is the only practitioner in Dubai to have done a one-year Manual Therapy course. Currently, Chief Therapist for Dubai Police and Head of the Physical Therapy section, he spends his mornings at his job with the Dubai Police, and the evenings at the spacious and fully equipped clinic specialising in treat in sports related injuries in addiction to all other physiotherapy cases.