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  • Jenny Hunt

How Can Abu Dhabi Businesses Participate In The Year Of Giving 2017

15th January 2017

2017 has been declared as the Year of Giving by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE.


Why the Year of Giving?

According to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ‘Giving’ is a value we cherish and saw personified in the UAE’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed. We continue to see this philanthropic legacy embodied by his sons and ingrained in the DNA of our society. Through my humble experience, I believe giving is not limited to monetary donations. Rather, “giving” is defined by the differences we make: the differences in someone’s life, in a society, or in a nation. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy is not measured in the generous donations he made to the less fortunate only, but in the impact he has had on our lives and our country forever. This is our goal for the Year of Giving – to make a difference in the lives of those we care for, and in ourselves.


The key themes are:

  1. Strengthening social responsibility

  2. Promoting a spirit of volunteering

  3. Strengthening the concept of serving the nation.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasized the importance of concerted efforts: “Our goal is to let individuals, private sector and government departments work in co-ordination and integration to achieve better development of the UAE society.”


A Higher National Committee has been established to implement the initiative.


Already, during the first half of January, a national food bank has been established to reduce food waste and to provide food to the needy. The first environment-related endowment initiative has been launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy and the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS-WWF). Al Ain University has doubled funds for supporting its students.


The National published a feature with 17 ideas for individuals to participate in the Year of Giving.


How can companies participate in the Year Of Giving?

Following are six ideas to get you started:

  1. Participate in any of the initiatives setup via the Higher National Committee, such as supermarkets and food & beverage outlets donating to the UAE Food Bank

  2. Providing mentoring to students

  3. Giving employees time to dedicate to a volunteer programme

  4. Donating funds to any of the charitable organisations in the UAE

  5. Donating resources to assist learning, healthcare or any other establishments

  6. Adopting a CSR programme for your company to champion


It is understood that an official website to support the initiative will be launched imminently.

The Year of Giving 2017 follows the conclusion of 2016 as Year of Reading, which saw the #UAEReads campaign give away 33,901 books and reach 71 schools.


Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO

Gateway Group Of Companies, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, UAE

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