UAE law: Up to Dh300,000 fine for raising charity funds without a permit

Individual or group of individuals or organisations may only donate or raise funds through various licensed charitable and humanitarian authorities



Photo: File
Photo: File
by

Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:59 AM

Question: I know of a person who desperately needs some monetary help. He lost his job a few months back. I am aware that raising funds without a permit is illegal in the UAE. Some friends have got together to raise some money for him. How do we do this legally?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you reside in the UAE and are planning to raise funds for an individual based in the country. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 3 of 2021 concerning the Regulation of Fundraising Activities (the ‘New Fundraising Law of UAE’) and the provisions of Decree No. 9 of 2015 Regulating the Raising of Donations in the Emirate of Dubai (the ‘Dubai Fund Raising Law’) are applicable.

It should be noted that recently, the UAE Ministry of Community Development has confirmed the enforcement of the New Fundraising Law of UAE. The said law prohibits individuals in the UAE from conducting or organising fundraising activities in the country.

The New Fundraising Law of UAE stipulates that a violator shall be subject to imprisonment and/or a fine of between Dh150,000 to Dh300,000, without prejudice to any more severe penalty stipulated by another law, as well as the confiscation of the collected donations by the court. Further, as per the said law, an individual or group of individuals or organisations may only donate or raise funds through various licensed charitable and humanitarian authorities within the UAE.

ALSO READ:

In Dubai, individuals or organisations may only raise donations upon obtaining written approval from the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (the ‘IACAD’). This is in accordance with Article 3(a) of the Dubai Fund Raising Law, which states: “No Donations may be raised, and no raising of Donations may be permitted in the Emirate or announced through print, audio, visual, or other means of communication and media, without first obtaining the written approval of the IACAD.”

Further, as you intend to raise funds for an individual, you may approach the IACAD and seek necessary approvals. The IACAD may approve your application within 15 days. If there is no reply for the IACAD, your application is considered to be rejected. This is in accordance with Article 5 of the Dubai Fund Raising Law, which states: “An application for a licence to raise Donations must be submitted to the IACAD on the relevant form prescribed by it, supported by the information and documents required by the IACAD. The IACAD will consider this application and issue its decision on the same within fifteen (15) days from the date of its submission. The application will be deemed rejected if no decision is issued within this period.”

Article 10 of the Dubai Fund Raising Law stipulates the penalties to individuals who illegally collect donations.

Therefore, it is prudent on your part to obtain necessary approvals from Ministry of Community Development and IACAD.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


More news from Legal