UAE licenses more nonprofits and tightens oversight

Number of licensed non-profit groups set to increase under new procedures in UAE
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Dubai: Regulation and licensing of nonprofits in the United Arab Emirates is expected to increase sharply under new procedures from the Ministry of Community Development, it was announced on Saturday.

This decision should increase the official number of these associations by granting licenses to those which have not yet been regularized.

Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid

The ministry will also step up monitoring of social protection groups in the country “to protect this sector from the risks of exploitation,” Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development said.

Fight against money laundering, terrorist financing

She added that the ministry was “very keen” to organize workshops for regulatory authorities that oversee nonprofit associations, in order to raise awareness of international best practices in combating money laundering, fundraising. terrorism and the proliferation of arms, as issued by the Financial Action Task Force. FATF).

Certify money flows

A key task of the ministry is to oversee “public non-profit associations and NGOs”, issue certificates allowing them to open accounts in banks and financial institutions and approve the signatures of those authorized to manage these. accounts.

These measures, the ministry said, “ensure at all times” that banks and financial institutions do not allow public nonprofits and NGOs to receive funds from outside the UAE through their accounts. ” that they are approved by the ministry.

The ministry will apply new procedures in accordance with Federal Law No. 35 of 2020 concerning the ratification of certain provisions of associations. It will also increase the number of such associations reported in the UAE.

The minister stressed the importance of collaboration between the ministry and other regulatory authorities to supervise and control non-profit associations, organize joint workshops and awareness programs and take the necessary precautions to protect this sector from the exploitation in the support and financing of terrorism.

Keeping watch

The ministry inspects and analyzes the financial statements and accounts of public not-for-profit associations on an annual basis to identify their sources of income, grants and donations received by associations as well as their disbursements.

The ministry also monitors the annual meetings of general assemblies of public nonprofit associations to discuss the associations’ financial and administrative reports and to organize board elections.

In addition, the ministry conducts field visits to public not-for-profit associations to determine their compliance with the law and regulatory decisions.

Categories and numbers

The minister revealed that the total number of public nonprofit associations, NGOs and social solidarity funds in the UAE is 501, including those under federal and local license.

However, the number of such entities declared by the reached ministry is 274, including associations and NGOs which have reconciled their status in accordance with Decree no. 35 of the Federal Law 2020.

These entities declared by the ministry break down as follows:

-222 Public non-profit associations

-18 social solidarity fund (Takaful).

According to the file of associations registered with the Ministry, the 222 Specialized Public Associations without Aid are also divided into the following classifications:

-Public and cultural service associations joined (88)

-Professional associations (37)

-Folk arts associations (29)

-Humanitarian services (30)

-Clubs and communities (16)

-Women’s associations (8)

Meanwhile, the number of NGOs has reached 34 and social solidarity funds have reached 18 in UAE.

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