New UAE law on charity: Up to Dh500,000 fine for profiting from donations

In-kind, food or pharmaceutical donations are permitted as long as they don’t violate the specified procedures


A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 4:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 10:43 PM

A UAE law that regulates charity funds specifies a fine of between Dh200,000 and Dh500,000 for anyone who profits from donations. The same fine applies if donated amounts are distributed among employees of associations.

The person can also be jailed. The penalty is doubled in case of a repeat offence.

Similar fines are applicable on anyone whose fundraising harms public order, national security or public morals. In all cases, the competent court shall order the confiscation of all collected donations.

These came as Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, explained the new law and how it protects residents’ donations.

Federal Regulatory Law No 3 of 2021 ensures that donations reach eligible beneficiaries, she said. She urged residents to verify the licensing and other details of entities via which they donate funds.

Charitable associations, federal and local authorities and non-profit associations may raise funds only after being authorised by the Ministry of Community Development.

Licensed entities are not allowed to publish, broadcast or promote any materials or advertisements for fundraising without the approval of designated authorities.

In-kind, food or pharmaceutical donations are permitted as long as they don’t violate the specified procedures.

Hessa Tahlak, assistant undersecretary of Social Development at the ministry, listed the entities that are authorised to raise funds:

— Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation

— Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation

— Emirates Red Crescent

— Al Maktoum Foundation

— Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charitable Establishment

— UAE Water Aid; Noor Dubai

— Dubai Cares

— Al Jalila Foundation

— Dar Al Ber Society

— Beit Al Khair Society

— Dubai Charity Association

— Sharjah Charity International

— Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nouimi Foundation

— International Charity Organization

— Al Ihsan Charity Association

— Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla Charitable and Humanitarian Est

— Um Al Quwain Charity Society

— Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Charity and Humanitarian Foundation

— Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Charitable Educational Foundation

— Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi Foundation for Humanitarian Affairs

— Fujairah Charity Association

— Other government entities and authorities such as Zakat Fund, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, among others.

The ministry is coordinating with local authorities to establish a joint mechanism to classify other charities, associations and societies in the UAE and add them to the list of approved entities.


According to the new law, there are two types of charity entities: Licensed and authorised entities that are established by laws or decisions or decrees to collect, provide and receive donations; and entities authorised to obtain a licence for collecting donations and fundraising through listed charitable organisations in the UAE.

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