The Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) has issued 20,000 individual volunteer licenses since the launch of volunteer licensing services in September 2021, promoting and encouraging the culture of volunteering in the Emirate. This came as part of its efforts to increase the participation of individuals in a variety of volunteering activities, develop a volunteer work system, foster an ideal environment for volunteering, and offer opportunities for community engagement.

Under the volunteer licensing services, DCD offers three types of licenses - the license for individuals who wish to volunteer, the volunteer team license for groups of five or more, and the license for entities that involve volunteers. The license is provided for entities from a variety of sectors - including the public, government, and the third sector - that are willing to include volunteers in their operations and programs.

H.E. Mubarak Salem Al Ameri, Executive Director of Social Licensing and Control Sector at DCD, said: “Through the issuance of 20,000 volunteer licenses in Abu Dhabi, we believe that we have been able to raise awareness among the community members about the need to obtain requisite license that ensure their rights and duties to engage in varied voluntary activities. One of the most crucial pillars for solidarity among the citizens and residents of the Emirate, the issuance further significantly strengthens the idea of social responsibility and helps build an integrated framework for volunteer activities.”

Al Ameri added: “The policy governing volunteer work in Abu Dhabi focuses on developing an effective environment that supports the volunteering system in the Emirate. This is being done by raising awareness and promoting involvement of all segments of society in accordance with the established professional standards in a safe environment. It additionally offers the opportunity to register volunteering individuals and teams without subsidiary to an entity or institution.”

Al Ameri stated that this move upholds the rights as well as outlines duties for volunteers - including individuals, volunteer teams, and organisations that wish to seek volunteers, since the voluntary system in Abu Dhabi is integrated in terms of legislation and policies to strengthen the legal framework for voluntary activity. He further emphaised that the DCD is collaborating with the Emirates Foundation to promote the culture of volunteering as well as provide various volunteering opportunities through its official platform, which is also the official way to request licenses.

In order to establish a legal framework for volunteering activities, clarify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of various parties involved, as well as to ensure that voluntary work is elevated in value and quality and benefits the community as a whole, obtaining a license for volunteering is mandatory before practising it in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

There are nine different types of volunteer work in Abu Dhabi, including traditional volunteering, volunteer work for social affairs, volunteer work in emergencies, volunteering at events, virtual volunteer works, volunteering for visitors, institutional volunteering, specialised volunteering, and volunteering abroad.

Individuals who wish to obtain a license for volunteering can apply through the ‘’ platform via the link, by filling out the form and attaching the required documents.