Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has pledged a Dh5 billion endowment towards social and charitable goals throughout the Arab world in tandem with the launch of a new global endowment consultancy centre.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy will provide free advice to organisations on setting up endowments.
It was announced alongside a Dh3.5bn knowledge endowment pledge aimed at funding education projects, plus an innovation endowment of Dh1bn that will be controlled through Dubai’s Museum of the Future.
A further Dh500 million was pledged for “general purposes”.
A cultural endowment supporting Emirati writers and literature has also been established from the proceeds of sales of Sheikh Mohammed's book, Flashes of Wisdom.
A new Dubai Awqaf and Endowment District will also be built, which has been described as the first social real estate project.
The district will be built on land donated by Sheikh Mohammed. It will allow people who have funds to build but lack the land to build homes, with proceeds then going to Awqaf and endowments for education, autism, school fees, medical treatment, agriculture, children’s cancer, the Arabic language, medicines and youth.
An Endowment Sign has also been launched that will be awarded to public and private bodies that make a substantial contribution through community initiatives.
The first nine initiatives have also been announced, covering a range of causes from autism awareness to a marriage fund.
The organisations taking part include Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), du, Wasl Properties and Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Dewa has pledged to set aside a portion of its new connection fees to an endowment fund that will help young Emirati couples pay for weddings, while the RTA will soon launch a series of endowment taxis whose sales will be used to promote public transport awareness.
Du has pledged a portion of its subscription fees to provide medicines for the needy, Wasl Properties has set up a school-maintenance fund and the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communications has created a scholarships fund. The endowment consultancy has also created a Dubai Arab World Awqaf and Endowment Monitoring System, which will be an interactive system providing up-to-date information on areas in the Arab world that have the most pressing social needs, based on data provided by international organisations.
Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE had “opened the doors to become the most supportive nation for endowment for the service of humanity”.
“Many businessmen provide charity in secret.
“We want them to announce their endowments and lead by example,” he said.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter