DUBAI: Today saw over a thousand enthusiastic visitors of all ages join in the popular Terry Fox Run that took place for the first and only time through the world pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai to mark World Cancer Day.

Raising funds for cancer research projects in the UAE, the event had special significance for many of the participants as a way to pay tribute to family or friends affected by cancer, and to support ongoing research to find a cure for the disease.  

The family fun run was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, and Chairperson of Al Jalila Foundation, who supported the very first Terry Fox Run in Dubai in 1994. This year’s event hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai was organized by Canadian Business Council Dubai to support Al Jalila Foundation.

The Terry Fox Run is recognized around the world for its continued contribution to cancer research for more than four decades. It takes its name from a young Canadian university student who lost a leg to cancer. Wanting to give hope to cancer patients, the amputee athlete ran 5,373 km - close to a marathon every day for 143 days - to raise funds for cancer research. When he had to stop running due to the return of cancer, millions of people around the world decided to continue his quest by taking part in The Terry Fox Run. Now an annual event in 33 countries across five continents, the Terry Fox Run has evolved into one of the largest fundraising events in support of cancer research in the world.   

“Today’s historic Dubai Terry Fox Run demonstrated the commitment of the UAE and its community in contributing to cancer research that could save generations in the future. We are truly grateful for the support and enthusiasm by all those who walked, ran, organized, assisted and entertained today, and of course, for the generous donations to cancer research,” said Ara Sahakian, former executive director and volunteer consultant to the Terry Fox Foundation, at the closing of the event.

Professor Frank Branicki from United Arab Emirates University said "We have been working with Researchers funded by Canada’s Terry Fox Foundation since 2013 to advance cancer research in the UAE, which is gaining momentum.  More than AED 8 million has been raised and funded for various UAE cancer research projects to date.  Today, UAE researchers are leading various important investigations to find effective treatments for cancers worldwide.”  

Any donors wanting to support the cause are warmly welcomed for their contribution, which can be still be made on the registration page for the event.

For more information, visit: 


About The Terry Fox Foundation

The Terry Fox Foundation honours the vision and spirit of an iconic Canadian while raising critical funds for cancer research. As a leading national charitable organization, the Terry Fox Foundation plays a vital role in building community, engaging more than 20,000 passionate volunteers and 3.3 million students in nearly 10,000 annual fundraising events across the country.

People around the world of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have been inspired by Terry’s enduring legacy. Through the generous support of our donors, partners, and volunteers, The Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $850 million and funded 1,300 innovative cancer research projects, bringing hope and health to millions of Canadians. Visit for more information and to learn how you can help take Terry’s Marathon of Hope across the finish line.

About Al Jalila Foundation

Al Jalila Foundation, a global healthcare philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives, was founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai in April 2013, to position Dubai and the UAE at the forefront of medical innovation.

Al Jalila Foundation supports medical treatment for individuals unable to afford quality healthcare; provides scholarships to nurture a home-grown generation of medical professionals and supports ground-breaking research that addresses health challenges prevalent in the region: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and mental health. In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Al Jalila Foundation expanded its research portfolio to address the coronavirus and other emerging diseases effecting mankind.

In August 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed inaugurated the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute, a AED 300 million multi-disciplinary research centre established by Al Jalila Foundation to lead as a beacon of hope for the UAE and the Arab region.

Al Jalila Foundation is named after Her Highness Sheikha Al Jalila Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the daughter of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Al Jalila Foundation is one of 33 member organisations under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives which embodies the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to improve the Arab world through humanitarian, developmental and community work.

For more information please visit:  

About Canadian Business Council Dubai 

The Canadian Business Council assists Canadian-related companies and professionals establishing or operating/working in Dubai and the UAE, through business networking and connections, information exchange, and a continued connection to Canada. 

As one of the largest and most active UAE business councils and the biggest Canadian business council in the MENA region, CBC offers members the opportunity to build their business and government networks and also maintain a strong connection to Canada, through events, member discounts and other benefits and supports. It also offers sponsors an opportunity to access and connect with a substantial number of Canadian professionals and their networks. 

Canada Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
“Canada’s Expo 2020 theme, The Future in Mind, serves as a platform to promote opportunities for trade, investment, education, tourism and immigration, from across Canada’s provinces, territories and cities, and throughout all sectors of society. Canada’s participation highlights Canadian leadership in key sectors, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, education, digitization, telemedicine, clean technology, agriculture, health sciences, aerospace and more. Canada’s approach to Expo 2020 Dubai is inspired by our core values of diversity, inclusion, human rights and gender equality as the foundation to building a prosperous and inclusive nation capable and intent on offering solutions to global challenges

For an immersive online experience of Canada's Pavilion visit:  

To request interviews, images or videos please contact:

Jennifer Cook                        

Mouna Oirda 

Consulate General of Canada in Dubai and the Northern Emirates
Akiko Onozuka, Public Affairs 

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