Five ways to donate to charity in the UAE this Ramadan

Charitable giving, also known as zakat, is one of the five pillars of Islam

The One Billion Meals campaign comes after the 2020 campaign '100 million meals', which provided food parcels and instant smart vouchers to millions of people across four continents. Photo: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives
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For Muslims, fasting during Ramadan is as much an exercise of self-discipline and sacrifice as it is a reminder to be generous and compassionate to the less fortunate.

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. The term signifies payments made annually for charitable and religious purposes.

From the UAE’s One Billion Meals campaign to a zakat fund set up by the UNHCR, here are five charity initiatives to donate to this Ramadan.

One Billion Meals

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, launched a campaign that aims to donate one billion meals to the poor and hungry around the world.

The campaign began on Saturday, the first day of Ramadan, and will run until the goal of raising enough money to fund one billion meals has been achieved.

“During Ramadan, we will be able to feel the suffering of 800 million people going to sleep hungry every day,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter. “We have one billion humane and noble messages to send out from the UAE to the world.”

To donate, visit

Emirates Red Crescent

The Emirates Red Crescent has a number of charity funds related to Ramadan, including Zakat Al-Fitr and providing food to those fasting.

There are also charities dedicated to providing food, clothing, education or medical attention to the needy around the world.

You can donate to Emirates Red Crescent through their website

UNHCR Zakat Fund

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has a dedicated charity for Ramadan called the Zakat Fund.

The charity aims to help eligible families in 14 countries with their immediate needs, such as food, water, shelter and medicine.

According to the UNHCR website, the fund ensures transparency at every step, “from donation to distribution of zakat funds to eligible families”.

The organisation said they have adopted a “100 per cent zakat distribution policy”, and will ensure that monetary contributions are delivered in full directly to eligible families.

Information on how to donate to the fund is at

UAE Suqia

The UAE Water Aid Foundation, or UAE Suqia, was founded in 2015 as an organisation under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation.

The non-profit organisation is dedicated to providing humanitarian aid and helping communities around the world who have trouble accessing clean water.

According to its website, the foundation has influenced the lives of more than 13 million people in 36 countries.

The foundation’s mission is to not only provide potable water to those in need. “We also work to identify how innovative and sustainable technologies can be part of the solution to the global water crisis,” the website reads.

To donate, visit

International Charity Organisation

The International Charity Organisation was established in 1984 in Ajman by Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman.

The organisation has created several charity initiatives for the holy month.

A Ramadan 2022 section on its website shows the list of its funds — dedicated to helping people locally and internationally. Initiatives within the UAE include paying for Eid gifts or clothes for a child, helping those imprisoned for minor financial issues, donating a meal or providing support to cancer patients.

Funds dedicated to helping those abroad include providing clothing to a family of refugees, building mosques and distributing drinking water.

You can browse through the full list of funds at

Updated: April 06, 2022, 11:46 AM