Abu Dhabi

The Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) announced today the start of receiving applications for issuing licenses to Third Sector Organisations (NGOs) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in accordance with the provisions of the laws and decisions regulating this sector. The new licensing process enables third-sector organizations to operate and provide services in an integrated manner and within an organised legal framework.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Community Development and DCD in May 2021 regarding the third sector that is governed by Federal Decree Law No. (35) of 2020, amending some provisions of Federal Law No. (2) of 2008 related to private associations and institutions of public benefit. It defines the authorities of both parties in terms of supervision and regulation of the sector through a range of effective mechanisms, legislative policies and exchange of information and cooperation. The accord was aimed at boosting the sector’s role in society through stronger partnerships and cooperation.

Her Excellency Hessa Tahlak, Assistant Undersecretary of Social Development at the Ministry of Community Development, said that the ministry is doing everything it can to boost partnerships and support integration between federal ministries, institutions, local departments, and entities to strengthen the social sector. By doing so, it supports the provision of further services, capabilities and initiatives that help it achieve its objectives to ensure family and community cohesion, happiness and quality of life.

H.E. Tahlak highlighted the ministry's constant endeavour to unify efforts at the federal and local levels, to ensure the application of best practices, develop and activate procedures for licensing of associations and institutions of public interest and support the efforts of those in charge of them.

His Excellency Mubarak Salem Al Ameri, Acting Executive Director of Social Licensing & Control Sector at DCD, stated: “This service provided by DCD in cooperation with the Ministry of Community Development is in line with the directives of our wise leadership, and is consistent with our goals aimed at developing individuals who actively participate in community service, provided by the by third sector, ensuring they’re able to carry out their operations and provide services in an integrated manner within an organised legal framework.”

Al Ameri added: “The department will grant licenses to groups wishing to establish a third-sector organisation in Abu Dhabi, in accordance with the laws, procedures and conditions stipulated in the federal law and in a manner that contributes to providing an appropriate environment for their work, to enable strategic links and partnerships, to activate their role in society and achieve sustainable development, efficiently and effectively.”

The requirement for licensing of a third sector organization includes signing of the statutes of the entity by the founding members, records of the minutes of their meetings signed by the attendees, records of the minutes of the meeting of the temporary committee and the decision of the committee authorizing one member to submit monthly reports and statement that includes the names, titles, professions and places of residence of the founding members, copies of their identity cards and passports, as well as their data form.

According to the law of associations in the country, UAE citizens have the right to apply for a license under the previous conditions. It requires the association perform and provide services after establishment for the public interest without obtaining any profits, and its membership is open to all in accordance with Federal Law Decree No. 35 of 2020 amended by the provisions of Law No. 2 of 2008. The goal is to determine the association’s main establishment objective.

The Department of Community Development seeks to regulate the work of associations of public interest through its social licensing and control sector, by the implementation of strategic and operational plans, monitor licensed third sector foundations and associations, and prepare and implement a licensing system them. Those wishing to avail of a licensing service can visit DCD’s official website, www.addcd.gov.ae/

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