Giving back to the community just got a little easier with the launch of this new website.

2017 might be the Year of Giving, but sometimes it can be difficult to know just how to get involved.

After all, the laws around charity and volunteering can be a little unclear, as our pals at What’s On Dubai have reported.

However a brand-new initiative will make giving back a whole lot easier.

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HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has just launched a national volunteer platform which allows people to donate their time to many worthy causes.

And its first two volunteers? None other than Sheikh Mohammed himself, along with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The royals signed up to, with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid selecting opportunities in the “humanitarian” field, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed choosing to volunteer in the categories of “hope making” and “environmental sustainability”.

The Arabic and English platform lets residents become registered volunteers by submitting a few details (name, contact details, ID number and so on), before they can select the kind of organisation they want to work at.

(Just FYI – we got the confirmation emails in Arabic, so you might need to employ a little Google Translate).

According to the site, there are already more than 84,000 volunteers signed up and 278 volunteering opportunities.

‏أطلقنا المنصة الوطنية للتطوع وسجلت فيها متطوعا في مجال صناعة الأمل بالإضافة للمجال البيئي .. وسجل أخي محمد بن زايد متطوعا في المجال الإنساني. ‏هدفنا ترسيخ التطوع في مجتمع الإمارات خلال عام الخير .. وبعده .. وهدفنا 200 ألف متطوع في كافة المجالات قبل نهاية هذا العام. التطوع نبل وقيمة للإنسان، ولا يشعر الإنسان بأهميته إلا إذا أعطى بلا مقابل .. ولا يشعر المجتمع بالحياة إلا إذا تكاتف وأسند القوي فيه الضعيف Today the National Volunteer Platform launched: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and I signed up to Hope Making, Environment and Humanitarian Work. Our goal is to consolidate the spirit of volunteering during the UAE Year of Giving and beyond, registering 200,000 volunteers in 2017. Volunteering is a noble and valuable act that leads to happiness for both the volunteers and the communities they serve so selflessly

A post shared by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (@hhshkmohd) on

You can filter by interests such as arts and culture, children, health and sports, highlight your relevant skills, and select the dates you want to volunteer.

At the moment, there are 35 organisations that volunteers can work with, ranging from government departments (like Sharjah social services or the Ministry of Interior) to humanitarian groups such as Emirates Red Crescent or programmes designed to empower women.

When you click on a registered opportunity, you’ll be able to see details such as hours required, the age required (if applicable) and any language skills needed, as well as a description of what volunteering will entail.

If you apply, you’ll need to upload images of your passport, visa and Emirates ID, and you’ll be contacted if your submission to volunteer is successful.

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According to Dubai Media Office, “will be the largest and most thorough volunteer platform in the country”, with the aim of signing up 200,000 volunteers by the end of the year.

“Our goal is to consolidate the spirit of volunteering during the UAE Year of Giving and beyond,” said HH Sheikh Mohammed on Instagram.

“Volunteering is a noble and valuable act that leads to happiness for both the volunteers and the communities they serve so selflessly.”

As well as linking volunteers with opportunities, the site will create a personal record for each volunteer and create accurate statistics for the government.

We’ve already signed up… will you?

(And hey, if you pick the same categories as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, you never know who you might end up volunteering alongside…).

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Images: Dubai Media Office