Charity holds a significant place in the culture of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). UAE society has a long-standing tradition of generosity and compassion toward those in need. The concept of charity, known as Zakat in Arabic, is deeply rooted in Islamic teachings, which emphasize the importance of giving to the less fortunate. This cultural value has led to the establishment of several charities and initiatives throughout the United Arab Emirates.
The development of charities in the United Arab Emirates can be traced back to the early days of the country’s formation. As the country underwent rapid modernization and economic growth, leaders recognized the importance of giving back to society. Over the years, charitable activities have evolved and expanded, driven by the UAE leadership’s vision to create a caring and inclusive society.
Dubai Cares is a well-known charity in the UAE, and its philanthropic efforts have gained praise and recognition worldwide. Established in 2007, it focuses on providing access to quality education for underprivileged children and young adults in 60 developing countries, including Bangladesh and the Maldives.
Dubai Cares takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the education needs, understanding that promoting education involves more than just building schools and providing books. The organization also focuses on teacher training, vocational education and early childhood development programs. Not only has Dubai Cares built and renovated 2,172 schools, but it has also trained 22,370 teachers, established 3,157 Parent-Teacher Associations, created 489 libraries and distributed 1.3 million books written in local languages.
Emirates Red Crescent
Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) is dedicated to assisting individuals and communities in need. With its mission to alleviate poverty, provide relief and support sustainable development, ERC has made significant contributions to both local and international communities.
One of the main focuses of ERC is providing disaster relief aid. The organization plays an important role in responding quickly to natural disasters, conflicts and humanitarian crises worldwide. Through its logistical expertise and strong network, it has a long history of delivering food, water, shelter and medical aid to affected areas.
Another notable initiative is its commitment to eradicating poverty. Recognizing the importance of economic stability for individuals and communities, ERC implements regional poverty-alleviation programs, including vocational training programs and income-generating initiatives. In 15 years, ERC has spent nearly $3 billion toward poverty alleviation in 128 countries, helping over 228 million people.
The Zakat Fund is a remarkable organization dedicated to upholding the principles of Islamic philanthropy in the region. Established in 2003, the organization operates under the guidance of the government and has become one of the most prominent charities in the country. Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, requires every able Muslim to donate a proportion of their wealth to benefit the poor.
The Zakat Fund provides assistance to individuals and families struggling with basic needs such as food, shelter and health care. Additionally, it extends support to educational initiatives, giving underprivileged children access to quality education. Its “Our Youth – Our Responsibility – Our Zakat – Our Immunity” initiative enables local universities to provide financial aid to students facing economic hardship.
Beit Al Khair Society
The Beit Al Khair Society is one of the most important charities in the UAE and is dedicated to addressing social issues in the region. Established in 1989, this institution operates across the seven emirates of the UAE, aiming to alleviate poverty and provide humanitarian aid to the underprivileged. So far, they’ve helped a total of 27,454 families with over $7 million of aid.
Dubai Foundation for Women and Children
The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) supports women and children affected by gender-based violence. This organization stands as a beacon of hope for victims of abuse, offering shelter, counseling and educational programs to help rebuild lives. Over 10,000 people have connected with the foundation through several online platforms.
DFWAC conducts various campaigns and workshops to educate individuals about the signs of abuse, its consequences and how to prevent it. By engaging with the public and fostering dialogue around this critical issue, DFWAC challenges existing misconceptions and societal attitudes that perpetuate violence against women and children.
Charities in the UAE demonstrate the nation’s commitment to philanthropy and societal progress. Built on a foundation of cultural heritage and Islamic principles, these organizations play an important role in alleviating social issues and driving sustainable development. With innovative approaches, strategic collaborations and a dedication to lasting impact, UAE charities are transforming lives both domestically and across the globe.
– Sara Hatab