Residents who wish to do volunteer work need to register and get licenses
2 July 2019| Last updated on 5 August 2019
Activities involving fundraising, charity work, collecting donations, and other social work must first receive permission
With summer here, there are more volunteering opportunities around to help the local community through the heat - donating water, food, clothes, creating safe and chilled spaces for outdoor workers, etc. - but before starting your own fundraiser or volunteering for a non-government organization (NGO), there are laws you need to take note of.
The Community Development Authority (CDA) reminded residents via Twitter that "association[s] that includes a group of individuals to engage in various social, cultural or recreational activities" must register through their official website.
The CDA acts as the authority for regulating and registering such associations and volunteers, in accordance with the Dubai government's laws.
Activities involving fundraising, charity work, volunteer work, collecting donations, and other social work in Dubai must first receive permission by the CDA.
The volunteer law in Dubai
As per Law No. (5) of 2018, "Regulating Volunteer Work in the Emirate of Dubai", any individual or organization that doesn't first notify the CDA and obtain approval to carry out volunteering activities can face one or more penalties, depending on the nature of the activity and number of law violations.
You can be slapped with a fine ranging between AED 500 to AED 200,000, your activities can be suspended for no more than 3 months, the organization can be shut down, as well as other punishments that the government finds fitting of the gravity of the violation.
These laws exist to guarantee the quality of services provided by NGOs as well as to ensure the safety of the volunteer staff and recipients.
The CDA said that “the primary role of supervision and inspection focuses on the application of the spirit of the law and the achievement of its objectives to protect beneficiaries of civil enterprises’ services by ensuring the safety of its procedures and the quality of its systems”.
There are numerous NGOs and individuals who coordinate and carry out social work, such as securing donations for laborers, raising hospital funds for disadvantaged patients, etc, and even businesses in Dubai partake in volunteer work at times. But not all of them acquired permission from the CDA and are thus taking their chances with the law.
The CDA repeatedly reminds volunteers and such groups to register and seek approval before carrying out any social work.