Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced a Dhs5 billion fund to help those most in need across the Arab world.
As well as its philanthropic goals, the money will also fund future research as well as development of culture and knowledge.
The bulk of the money is a Dhs3.5 billion knowledge endowment pledge aimed at funding education projects. There’s also an innovation endowment of Dhs1 billion, and a further Dhs500 million has been pledged for “general purposes”.
Speaking to his 5.87 million followers on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed explained that the Global Endowment Vision of Dubai is based on the Awqaf concept of sustainable charitable endowment.
Not simply aimed at helping those most in need however, a cultural endowment supporting Emirati writers and literature has also been established from the proceeds of sales of Sheikh Mohammed’s book, Flashes of Wisdom.
Finally, the government will also set up the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy offering free advice to all philanthropists and aims to boost giving in the Arab world.
Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE had “opened the doors to become the most supportive nation for endowment for the service of humanity”.
“Many businessmen provide charity in secret,” he added. “We want them to announce their endowments and lead by example.”
To that end an Endowment Sign has been launched that will be awarded to all public and private bodies that make a substantial contribution through community initiatives.
Unsurprisingly, there has been no shortfall of organisations taking part. So far Dewa has pledged to set aside a portion of its new connection fees to an endowment fund that will help young Emirati couples pay for weddings, and the RTA is preparing to launch a series of endowment taxis whose sales will be used to promote public transport awareness.
Du has pledged a portion of its subscription fees to provide medicines for those most in need, Wasl Properties has set up a school-maintenance fund and the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communications has created a scholarships fund.