A new law to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing is being developed by the UAE.
The legislation will govern how charitable donations are made and the way non-profit organisations operate, a senior official has said.
Nasser Ismail, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Community Development and a member of the National Committee for Countering Money Laundering, told state news agency Wam that non-profit organisations operating in the UAE “must exercise due diligence to avoid any wrongdoings related to money laundering”.
Mr Ismail referred to the “new federal law being formulated by the ministry, named the Fundraising Regulatory Law, which will stipulate a set of conditions and regulations for licensed charitable and humanitarian authorities within the UAE”.
There are already strict measures in place relating to fundraising. This means the public can donate only to charities that are licensed by the government.
Awareness programmes around upcoming law
Mr Ismail said a series of awareness programmes for non-profit groups would be held soon. The ministry has already organised workshops for regulatory authorities that are responsible for overseeing and monitoring non-profit associations in the UAE.
These measures will support social development and encourage humanitarian giving, based on the values and traditions of Emirati society, he said.
“This step comes as part of the ministry’s efforts to abide by the international standards of countering money laundering, terrorism financing and weapons proliferation as issued by the Financial Action Task Force,” he said.
UAE non-profits to follow high standards
“Our target is to ensure that international standards are applied practically and comprehensively by non-profit associations, thereby preventing any unacceptable abuses, errors or practices in this context,” Mr Ismail said.
“These standards that are adopted by the ministry will form a basis for regulatory authorities that are responsible for supervising and monitoring non-profit associations.
“The ministry is committed to increase and enhance the awareness of all regulatory authorities for overseeing and monitoring non-profit associations, by increasing their awareness of all laws and regulations related to countering money laundering, combating financing of terrorism and illegal organisations in the UAE; this definitely reflects the impact of reducing financial support of terrorism in all forms.”
He said the UAE was committed to enforcing international laws and regulations on countering money laundering and financing terrorism.
“This means that the UAE supervisory authorities must achieve all the objectives and competences in accordance with the enforced legislations in the UAE, particularly those related to risk assessment, supervision and monitoring,” the official said.
“These measures will certainly help achieve full compliance with the standards to ensure the stability, safety and happiness of the community in the first place.”