UAE: Up to Dh300,000 fine for paying restaurants to prepare Iftar meals; authority issues warning

Individuals are encouraged to donate and make charitable contributions through licensed entities


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 2:26 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 2:34 PM

Residents have been asked to refrain from paying restaurants and caterers to prepare Iftar meals for distribution in Abu Dhabi. The Department of Community Development (DCD) Abu Dhabi stressed that any charitable donations and financial contributions must be made only through licensed entities in Abu Dhabi.

“Imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dh150,000 and no more than Dh300,000 will be imposed on any entity collecting or receiving donations without obtaining a permit,” the DCD noted.

The department underlined that outsourcing and paying restaurants to prepare Iftar meals is a violation of Federal Law No. (3) of 2021 and its bylaw, which regulate the fundraising activities and donations in the UAE.

“Individuals who would like to make charitable contributions can do so through in-kind or cash donations made to fundraising licensed entities or regulated donation boxes,” the department said in a statement.

The DCD stressed the importance of establishing a culture of giving in accordance with legal frameworks and legislation.

“This helps regulate donations by protecting donor’s funds and ensuring they reach the right beneficiaries. Whereas the department considered the customs of preparing, buying, and distributing Iftar meals to families in the neighbourhood, or distributing meals and dates to passers, or placing water in mosques as not violating the law as long as they do not collect any money or donations for illegal purposes,” the department clarified.

“Establishing, organising, or performing any act aimed at collecting donations in Abu Dhabi is not allowed without a permit from the DCD, with the exception of Fundraising Licensed Entities, which are charities, federal, local and civil institutions that are permitted by laws and decrees to collect, receive and make donations,” the DCD added.


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