Abu Dhabi creates body to regulate endowments and minors’ trusts

The new entity will assume the responsibilities of the Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation

The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Authority will manage all endowment affairs in Abu Dhabi and invest and safeguard minors' wealth. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Abu Dhabi has passed a new law to establish the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Authority as part of efforts to support the UAE’s vision for social development and welfare.

President Sheikh Mohamed, the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, issued the law establishing the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Authority in the UAE’s capital, the Abu Dhabi Media Office reported on Friday.

The new entity will assume the responsibilities of the Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation and all its assets, properties, rights and liabilities will be transferred to the new agency.

“The AMAA will also manage all endowment affairs in the emirate,” the media office said.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, appointed Abdulhamid Saeed, former governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, as chairman of the Awqaf and Minor Affairs Authority, the media office tweeted on Friday.

An endowment is a donation of money or property to a non-profit organisation, which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, launched the Dubai Endowments Strategy in April to spread the culture of endowments and reinforce the emirate’s role as a global leader in philanthropy and humanitarianism.

The strategy also aims to provide a road map for building a sustainable endowment sector. Awqaf Dubai will oversee the implementation of the strategy.

The value of Dubai’s endowments reached Dh8.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in 2022, with 493 endowers and a total of 839 endowments.

In co-ordination with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, the AMAA will take measures to manage endowment affairs in Abu Dhabi, including endowment registration, supervision and the issuing of permits for endowment institutions in the emirate, the statement said.

The new entity will also manage, invest, grow and safeguard endowment and minors’ wealth.

The AMAA can buy shares in companies and funds to invest in the UAE and abroad in line with Sharia and applicable laws.

An investment committee, whose members are non-AMAA employees, will be established to make decisions on the investment of minors’ and endowment assets, according to the statement.

The new body will also organise events on the management of endowment and minors’ wealth to promote the values of giving in the emirate.

Updated: May 26, 2023, 2:34 PM