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Wife of the man who brought electricity to Dubai dies at the age of 91

Wife of 94 year old chairman of Arabian Trading Agency and the business tycoon Maghanmal Jethanand Pancholia died on Sunday in Dubai aged 91. She was one of the oldest women in the UAE.

Kalabai Maghanmal, witness to the exponential growth of Dubai and UAE over six decades was admitted to Dubai Hospital just a day before. According to her family she was brought to hospital due to old age-related illness.

Born on September 24, 1927, in Rohri in undivided India, which is now in Pakistan, Kalabai was brought up in Karachi where she married in 1943 and migrated to Bombay (Mumbai) after partition of India in 1947.

One of the first Indian women to settle down in the erstwhile Trucial States was brought in Dubai in 1957 by her husband fondly known as Maghaba.

Her husband is known as the man who brought electricity to Dubai remembered his wife as a woman who could held a vast family together saying that  “We are five brothers. Our family members here number in a couple of hundreds. She had a very positive relationship with everyone,”.

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The Pancholia couple has 4 children (Dr Lalchand, Rajkumar, Jaswanti (Jyothi) and Kusum ) 11 grandchildren & 15 great-grandchildren.

According to her son Dr L.M. Pancholia Kalabai had taken care of umpteen relatives who came over to the UAE to look for jobs & run business.He also said she used to love living in Dubai because of the comforts and was also fond of shopping here.

After her death, the Pancholias have been receiving condolences from various parts of the world including prominent Indian community members Vasu Shroff, Ram Buxani, Bharatbhai Shah, Narain Sawlani, G.B. Choithram Jethwani, Sunil Singh, & Ashok Kumar.

 Ram Buxani said, “I have known her since the time I came over here in 1959. She was very hospitable , and very caring. She was quite active in her own community till she became ill due to old age,”.

The Pancholia family has organised a condolence meeting at Grand Excelsior Hotel in Bur Dubai from 5pm to 5:30pm 29th of May, today.

Saba Imran
Saba Imran
Saba is a passionate and versatile writer of NetMag's blog and Magazine. She is known for her great research based articles which are more often concluding the depths of insights of ICT in Pakistan and globally as well.


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