KHALEEJ TIMES, Saturday, Jan 15, 2022 | Jamada
Al-Aakhirah 11, 1443
New UAE law on charity and donations: Fines, what's banned and what's allowed?
Emirates: A federal law regulating donations prohibits individuals
from collecting charity funds without prior authorisation in the UAE.
Law No. 3 of 2021 authorises charitable associations, federal, local and private
entities and institutions established by laws, decrees or decisions to collect,
receive and make donations.
Here are all your questions answered by the Ministry of Community Development.
Q. How are donations defined?
Any type of money in cash or in kind, transferred or fixed, including national
currency, foreign exchange, bonds, cheques and shares raised to be spent on
Q. What happens to bank accounts via which illegal donations are made?
The executive regulations of the law specify the rules and measures of
controlling, and closing such bank accounts.
Q. Is a person allowed to raise or collect donations for helping others?
Individuals are prohibited from collecting donations except through authorised
entities. Licensed entities are not allowed to raise funds without the approval
and permission of competent authorities.
Q. What about supporting a family member in distress?
The law does not prohibit support for family members, as long as it does not
involve members of the public.
Q. Is it permissible to collect funds from relatives and friends to donate to a
charity outside the UAE?
Any donations or funds outside the UAE must be done through the procedures laid
down by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Individuals are not allowed to do so.
Q. Can entities advertise fundraisers?
Authorised entities are not allowed to promote or advertise fundraisers without
the approval of the competent authority.
Q. Is it permitted to donate through social media or Internet?
An individual is prohibited from establishing, organising or performing any act
with the aim of collecting or accepting donations from the public by any means
of collection unless he or she obtains a permit specifying the mechanism and
channels of collection or fundraising. Donations can be raised through the media
and the Internet in coordination with the competent authorities in the UAE.
Q. May I donate through charitable associations’ donation boxes at shopping
malls and mosques?
The donation boxes are monitored by relevant government authorities. Entities
are not allowed to collect donations without the approval and permission of
Q. What is the penalty for violators of the law?
— Profiting from donations: Dh200,000 to Dh500,000 fine and imprisonment.
— Harming public order, national security or public morals while raising funds:
Dh200,000 to Dh500,000 fine and imprisonment.
— Using donations for purposes other than for which they were intended:
Dh150,000 to Dh300,000 fine and imprisonment.
Q. How does the law deal with in-kind food or pharmaceutical donations?
Authorised entities may not accept any food or pharmaceutical donations for
distribution outside the UAE, unless they meet the following conditions:
— Validity not less than six months from the date of delivery
— Materials are collected, transported and distributed appropriately to ensure
their validity, safety, usage or consumption.
— All materials must be stored properly.
Q. Can donations be collected or received from outside the UAE?
Licensed and authorised entities are not allowed to collect or receive
donations, grants or subsidies from any person or entity outside the UAE, unless
they comply with the regulations and
procedures set by the executive regulations of the law.
Q. Are there any authorised entities to collect donations?
— Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation
— Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation
— Emirates Red Crescent
— Al Maktoum Foundation
— Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charitable Establishment
— UAE Water Aid; Noor Dubai
— Dubai Cares
— Al Jalila Foundation
— Dar Al Ber Society
— Beit Al Khair Society
— Dubai Charity Association
— Sharjah Charity International
— Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nouimi Foundation
— International Charity Organization
— Al Ihsan Charity Association
— Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla Charitable and Humanitarian Est
— Um Al Quwain Charity Society
— Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Charity and Humanitarian Foundation
— Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Charitable Educational Foundation
— Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi Foundation for Humanitarian Affairs
— Fujairah Charity Association
— Other government entities and authorities such as Zakat Fund, Awqaf and Minors
Affairs Foundation, among others.