The UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2017 as the 'Year of Giving' to promote the culture of giving back to the community and enhance the spirit of volunteering and loyalty to one’s country.
The Year of Giving will focus on three main pillars: the first of which aims at creating a sense of community responsibility in the private sectors so as to fulfil their role in serving the community and contribute in the developmental march of the country.
The second pillar focuses on enhancing the spirit of volunteering and encouraging specialised volunteer programs that will effectively assist in social development and community services.
The third pillar aims at instilling loyalty and commitment in the next generation to serve their country, a trait that is characteristic of Emiratis who were raised to love and serve their country.
The UAE President affirmed that designating the year 2017 as the Year of Giving mirrors the method adopted by the UAE ever since its formation, a method based on helping others without expecting anything in return.
His Highness further explained that the UAE is known for its philanthropic activities and helping the less fortunate worldwide while the people of the UAE follow in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the world-renowned philanthropist.
His Highness emphasised that the UAE has made great strides in charitable and philanthropic works and that it is necessary to open people up to the notion of giving back to society.
In implementation of the directives of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed to outline a comprehensive framework to implement the Year of Giving and set out targets, draft federal and local initiatives as well as coordinate volunteer works and promote a culture of social responsibility so that individuals and institutions from the public and private sectors, be effective partners in the developmental process of the UAE.
Sheikh Mohammed highlighted that the programs and initiatives of the Year of Giving will target the private sectors in particular, given the fact that it is an important and major partner in the developmental march of the country.
Sheikh Mohammed affirmed that allocating a year to celebrate and disseminate charitable works reflects the UAE’s prominent position as the world’s top humanitarian donors, thanks to the relentless efforts of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed further asserted that the Year of Giving sends a message of love, tolerance and hope from the UAE leaders and its generous people to the region and the entire world.
The launch of the Year of Giving follows the concluding ceremony of the Year of Reading 2016, which saw more than 1,500 reading initiatives that engaged various segments of the society and most significantly, launched a strategy that aimed at transforming the act of reading into a lifestyle in the UAE and also was crowned by issuing the National Reading Law, the first decree of its kind in the UAE and the wider region, positioning reading as a cultural value and setting it into a legislative context bound by implementation, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
At the end of the ceremony a decree establishing the Dh1 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library in Dubai was also established with aim to boost the reading culture in the Arab world.