Mohammed bin Rashid approves Law regulating Awqaf and endowments in Dubai

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that endowment establishments are key partner of governments in community development and play an active role in meeting societies’ needs.

His Highness said that endowment is a development tool of communities and played a historic role in development in the Arab and around the world. He also said that the UAE and Dubai aims to provide the best legislations in this domain so it contribute in the development of various economic sectors.

As part of this move, His Highness issued Law No (14) of 2017 regulating Awqaf and endowments in Dubai. His Highness also issued Law No. (17) of 2017 on Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy (MBRGCEC).

Law No. (14) of 2017 aims to support the UAE vision regarding charity and humanitarian efforts, establishing a comprehensive and modern legal framework that responds to the needs of the community. The Law institutionalises the management, operations and protection of endowments and outlines the framework for providing a conducive environment for charitable activities and community contributions in the fields of education, healthcare, culture, arts, environment, sports and social unity. Furthermore, the Law aims to promote Awqaf and endowments.

The Law specifies the responsibilities and obligations of concerned entities, and prescribes the regulations and procedures that govern the management and development of Awqaf and endowments. The Law also defines and regulates the MBRGCEC’s Dubai Endowment Sign awarded to government and private entities that contribute substantially to the community.

The Law details the criteria to obtain the MBRGCEC’s Dubai Endowment Sign. To obtain the Sign, the individual or entity must have launched sustainable waqf-related initiatives, projects or contributions. The Sign is awarded according to the standards approved by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

The Law also authorises Dubai’s Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation to issue licenses for waqf establishment in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, outlines the regulations that govern the waqf establishments, including licensing, governance regime and penalties for licensing violations. The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation is also responsible for overseeing and monitoring the waqf establishment.

Pursuant to Law No (14) of 2017, endowments are subject to Federal Law No (5) of 1985 without prejudice to the terms and conditions set forth by the grantor or otherwise by the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

This Law does not contradict or challenge the waqf-related laws applicable in Dubai International Financial Centre.

The Board of Dubai’s Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, is authorized to issue the policies and procedures required to implement this Law.

Pursuant to Law No. (17) of 2017, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy aims to support the vision of Dubai to become a global humanitarian hub, enabling waqf and endowments to match various local, regional and international developmental needs.

The Law authorises the Centre to provide consulting services for individuals and organisations according to international best practices, identify the critical development requirements that waqf can support, enhance knowledge and capabilities in the fields of Awqaf and endowments by conducting research and studies, organising conferences and workshops and signing partnership agreements with specialised local, regional and international organisations. The Centre is also authorised to issue the MBRGCEC’s Dubai Endowment Sign according to specified regulations and procedures.

The Law also authorises the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to appoint the Secretary General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

This Law annuls any other legislation that contradicts or challenges its articles. Both Laws will be published in the Official Gazette and considered valid from the date of publication.

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