His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has issued Law No. 05 of 2018 pertaining to volunteering in Dubai. The new Law, which regulates volunteering activity, seeks to promote social responsibility in society, stimulate positive social engagement and encourage people to serve their communities.
The new Law authorises Dubai’s Community Development Authority, CDA, to establish, implement and oversee the plans and policies required to regulate volunteering in the Emirate of Dubai, encourage public and private sectors to sponsor volunteering programmes and conduct programmes to raise awareness about the important role of volunteering in community development. The CDA is also responsible for coordinating volunteering programmes, establishing a database for volunteers in Dubai, issuing identification cards for volunteers, issuing participation certificates for volunteers, helping entities to attract volunteers for their initiatives and nominating volunteers to participate in volunteering initiatives based on their skills and qualifications.
According to the Law, entities sponsoring or conducting volunteering initiatives must obtain authorisation from CDA. The Law permits volunteers to form teams to participate collectively in volunteering programmes in Dubai on the condition that the team has registered itself in CDA’s database and obtained all required permits from CDA. The volunteer teams are not allowed to conduct any fundraising activities, including advertising through any kind of media, unless the team obtains approval from CDA.
Under the Law, public and private entities engaged in volunteering activities should define the standards and regulations governing their volunteering activities and provide a copy of these standards and regulations to CDA. They should also specify the category and nature of the volunteering activity and train the volunteers to perform the work, if required. The entities must maintain a record with the volunteers’ names, personal information, the nature of work they have done and the hours they have done volunteering work. They should also register such information in CDA’s database. Entities must also provide all required tools and safety equipment necessary for the volunteers to perform their activity. In addition, the entities must also provide insurance coverage against injuries, contagion and civil liabilities. All volunteers must sign the volunteering agreement issued by CDA and this agreement must detail the relationship between the volunteer and the entity.
Pursuant to the Law, the volunteer must be above 18 years. Volunteers under 18 years must obtain approval from their legal guardian. The volunteer must enjoy a record of good conduct, be physically fit and be registered as a volunteer with the CDA. Volunteers must commit to their obligations according to the volunteering agreement and respect confidentiality.
The sponsoring entity is responsible for all the volunteering activities and efforts carried out by the volunteers. The CDA Director-General will form a "Volunteers Affairs Committee" to look into any complaints or litigation related to the volunteering agreement.
All sponsoring entities, volunteer teams and individuals must comply with the articles of this Law. This Law will be published in the Official Gazette and considered effective from the date of publication.