Dubai has launched a new law to regulate endowments and minors’ trusts as part of efforts to support the UAE’s vision for social development and welfare.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, issued law No 17 of 2022 on the emirate's Endowments and Minors’ Trust Foundation, Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Thursday.
He also issued law No 18 of 2022, affiliating the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Awqaf and Endowment to the foundation.
Law No 17 of 2022 applies to the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, which was created pursuant to law No 9 of 2007, the statement said.
The name of the foundation will be changed from Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation to the Endowments and Minors’ Trust Foundation, Dubai Media Office said.
An endowment is a donation of money or property to a non-profit organisation, which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose, according to Investopedia.
The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation was responsible for overseeing and monitoring the waqf establishment. Waqf is a charitable endowment under Islamic law.
The foundation registered 761 endowments at the end of 2021, representing a total value of Dh7.71 billion ($2.09bn). The registered endowments included charitable, progeny and joint endowments.
Real estate endowments comprised 700 of the total, while 61 were financial assets and stocks. Men accounted for 561 out of 761 endowments, while women contributed 130, and entities and institutions were responsible for 70 endowments, the foundation reported.
Women’s participation in endowment activity in the UAE experienced a marked increase last year. They played an important role in supporting the education and health sectors as well as empowering orphans and people of determination.
Women-led endowments included real estate, financial assets, stocks and in-kind donations.
Sheikh Mohammed pledged a Dh5bn endowment towards social and charitable goals throughout the Arab world in 2016 in tandem with the launch of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, which provided free advice to organisations on setting up endowments.
Both the new laws will be effective from the date of their publication in the Official Gazette, Dubai Media Office said.
The new law specifies the mandate, functions, responsibilities and organisational structure of the foundation.
It also outlines the foundation’s duties and responsibilities regarding the management of Sharia-compliant endowments and donations, with the exception of those generated by mosques.
The law lists the powers granted to the foundation to invest endowment funds in Sharia-compliant investments, the statement said. It also defines the foundation’s functions related to the management of minors’ funds.
A special register of wills created by the foundation will list those issued pursuant to a court decision or ruling.
Under the new law, endowments are exempted from fees, taxes and litigation fees, Dubai Media Office said.