As the regulatory body organising fundraising activities in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Community Development (DCD) has stressed the importance of promoting a culture of giving and community collaboration that follows the legal frameworks of the emirate. In addition, DCD has also highlighted its role in organising fundraising to protect donor contributions and ensure it reaches the deserving beneficiaries.

Mubarak Salem Al Ameri, Executive Director of the Social Licensing and Control Sector at DCD, said: “Federal Law No. 3 of 2021, concerning the regulation of donations, Cabinet Resolution No. 96 of 2022, regarding the executive regulations of the same law, and the Chairman of the Department of Community Development Resolution No. 65 of 2023, regarding adopting a fundraising regulation policy in Abu Dhabi, constitute some of the most important legal pillars in Abu Dhabi, due to their connection to charitable work which is  rooted in our society. This ensures that donations are safeguarded from all forms of exploitation and that they reach those who deserve them.

“In conjunction with the holy month of Ramadan, people are keen to provide aid to those in need, inspired by the month’s spirit of blessing. The DCD takes it upon itself to inform various segments of society, including individuals and institutions, of the principles and guidelines for organising fundraising in the emirate.”

The law defines donations as all funds collected whether cash or in kind, movable or fixed, including local and foreign currencies, bonds, instruments, and shares, regardless of their form, including electronic or digital, that are spent on charitable causes, or that provide services and charitable assistance.

Al Ameri highlighted DCD’s efforts to organise fundraising activities and develop comprehensive frameworks and policies to ensure the highest quality standards are adhered to while safeguarding donor funds and collecting donations in accordance with applicable regulations and legislation.

Al Ameri emphasised that it is prohibited for any person to collect donations, or for any entity in Abu Dhabi to establish, organise, or perform any act of collecting donations without obtaining prior approval from the DCD. This excludes entities licensed in Abu Dhabi, whose laws, decrees, or establishment decisions allow them to collect, receive, and provide donations.

The entities licensed to receive donations in Abu Dhabi include the Authority of Social Contribution - Ma'an, the Emirates Red Crescent, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Faraj Fund, Emirates Nature-WWF, Operation Smile UAE, and Make-A-Wish Foundation UAE, as well as the Cancer Patient Care Society - Rahma and Sedra Foundation.