Dubai: Mariamma Varkey’s last rites, memorial service to be live-streamed – News


Decision taken to comply with Covid safety protocols in place in Dubai.

Founder of the first Gems school in Dubai, the late Mariamma Varkey, will be laid to rest on Monday, April 5.

Her final rites at the Jebel Ali Mar Thoma Church in Dubai will be live-streamed (

The funeral will be followed by a memorial service on Tuesday, April 6, which will be live-streamed on YouTube (, a GEMS Education spokesperson told Khaleej Times.

The matriarch of the Varkey family passed away on March 31 at her son’s Dubai residence. She was 89.

The decision to live-stream the funeral and memorial service has been taken keeping in mind Covid-19 protocols in place in the UAE.

Mariamma Varkey, along with her late husband KS Varkey, founded the Our Own English High School, in 1968.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid tributes to Mariamma Varkey over the weekend.

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He wrote on Twitter: “Mariamma recently passed away, leaving behind a legacy of education in the UAE and beyond. Driven by an enduring passion for education, she started tens of schools with thousands of students inside and outside the UAE.”

In response to the statement from the Dubai Ruler, Sunny Varkey, founder and chairman of GEMS Education, said, “I am most grateful for these kind words from Sheikh Mohammed commemorating my beloved mother and her pioneering role in furthering education in the UAE. My family and I consider it a most gracious tribute in honour of her.”

He added: “My mother loved this land, its leaders and people, and considered it her home and second country. We will continue and live up to her pioneering legacy and embody her firm belief in the power of education to change the lives of generations and make the world a better place.”

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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