Corporate social responsibility and philanthropy will be the focus of a regional consultation forum to be hosted tomorrow in Dubai.
Prominent philanthropists from the region will attend the two-day meeting to explore ways of strategic giving through creative planning.
To be held under patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the forum “From Charity to Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy” is being organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
Philanthropists attending the forum will include Queen Rania Al Abdulla of Jordan, Prince Turky bin Talal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, Chairman and Founder of the Dallah Al Baraka Group, as well as leading UAE businessmen Juma Al Majid, Majid Al Futtaim and Khalaf Al Habtoor.
Seeking to widen the role of philanthropy in the region’s development, the meeting will focus on ways to tackle challenges facing philanthropic work in the Arab World. Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Board of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, has urged participants to look at new ideas and explore innovative strategies to capitalise on social returns from philanthropic efforts.
“As a pioneering regional platform, the forum lays emphasis on devising new strategies to enhance the impact of investing in philanthropic projects,” he said.
He also pointed out that as key catalysts, leading regional businesses need to shoulder a significant share of the responsibility through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
“The forum provides a new platform for positive dialogue to explore new trends in the region’s philanthropic work. The concept of giving has recently witnessed several major transformations, resulting in better life opportunities for less privileged societies. The consultation in Dubai will seek additional approaches to sustain the positive impact of this paradigm shift,” he said.
A highlight of the forum will be the review of key findings of the first report on philanthropy in the Arab World. The study, undertaken by John D Gerhart Centre for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, the American University in Cairo, covers philanthropic work carried out in eight Arab countries – the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan,
Eight working groups at the forum will discuss issues including youth empowerment as well as investing in science and research.
The consultation will also look into the possibilities of philanthropic contributions in diverse fields such as healthcare and education. The focus of the event will also be extended to exploring the definition and practice of meaningful philanthropy, establishing media as an effective partner in promoting philanthropy and the role of an enabling legal and regulatory environment.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation has been launched, with an endowment of $10 billion as a personal initiative of Sheikh Mohammed, with the aim to develop knowledge and human capabilities of the Arab World for the creation of a future generation of leaders in the region.