New Abu Dhabi strategy to support social enterprise and volunteering

The Ma'an Authority for Social Contribution will champion the UAE's 'culture of giving'

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - April 22, 2019: The newly-appointed Director General of MaÕan, H.E. Salama Al Ameemi. The introduction of MaÕan Authority for Social Contribution, a government entity in Abu Dhabi responsible for encouraging community-based organizations and cooperation between the public, private and social sectors to achieve sustainable community development. Monday the 22nd of April 2019. Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE's "culture of giving" is the driving force behind a series of social reforms being rolled out as part of a major Dh50 billion investment plan for Abu Dhabi.

Social enterprises will be supported and volunteering initiatives encouraged under a new strategy bringing public and private sectors together to improve quality of life in the capital.

The Ma'an Authority for Social Contribution, a body set up by President Sheikh Khalifa in February to promote a sense of civic duty in the emirate, has announced an action plan aimed at championing a philanthropic spirit.

The project was first announced in June 2018 as part of the Ghadan 21 programme, a three-year scheme set up to accelerate the growth of  Abu Dhabi’s economy.

The first government authority of its kind in the region is focused on growing the social sector in Abu Dhabi through four key pillars.

A social investment fund will use cash raised from public and private partners to channel towards community initiatives.

A new financial model for contracting public services, called social impact bonds, will also be introduced.

A social incubator programme will be launched with the aim of nurturing and creating more not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises in the city.

The final part of the social support mission, a community engagement programme, will create more opportunities for people to volunteer and offer support for voluntary organisations.

"We want to build on the UAE’s strong culture of giving," said Salama Al Ameemi, the newly-appointed director general of Ma'an.

“Our main target is to make programs sustainable, providing real services that are needed in society.

“Ma’an is mandated to deliver a social impact in Abu Dhabi, introducing new programs and partnerships that will channel our community’s philanthropic efforts towards shared goals that support the common good."

The First Social Survey of Abu Dhabi Emirate, carried out by the Department of Community Development last year, called for improvements in areas such as social support and volunteering.