The government of Dubai has announced a series of new policies and initiatives as it looks to drive progress in the last three months of the Year of Giving.

At a review meeting of the Year of Giving Higher Committee – chaired by vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – 10 new initiatives and work policies were approved in a bid “to cement the UAE’s role as a philanthropic leader in the region, through a sustainable framework that integrates both private and public sector institutions”.

These included a CSR Smart Platform, which provides companies within the private sector with opportunities to participate in development and community projects; and two programmes, Involving Government Employees in Volunteering (which includes setting up a new mechanism to encourage federal and local government employees to volunteer) and Opportunities in Government, in which a list of volunteer opportunities will be shared for all segments of society.

Sheikh Mohammed said the government sought to “sustain giving” in the UAE, with the introduction of new legislation, two national long-term plans and various sustainable initiatives and policies in the fields of volunteerism, corporate social responsibility and CSR.

Reviewing the achievements in the Year of Giving so far, Sheikh Mohammed said 2.8 million volunteer hours had been logged, with 141 organisations offering 716 volunteer opportunities in various fields.

"We have three months left in the Year of Giving – this final stretch is the most important,” he said. “Our goal is to expand further on our humanitarian policies, ensuring that we multiply our efforts to deliver even more goodness to all parts of the world."

The Year of Giving feature three distinct themes: encouraging social responsibility in the private sector, promoting the spirit of volunteerism and specialised voluntary programmes in all segments of society, and strengthening the concept of serving the nation among the younger generations.

The programme has already acted as a catalyst for a huge number of initiatives, with 1,400 outlined across the seven Emirates, including everything from charity skydives and beach cleans to fully fledged humanitarian programmes and pro-bono legal work.

A recent survey of more than 10,000 local employees found that 76 per cent want to work for a company that is socially responsible, and just under 90 per cent feel the corporate sector has a ‘moral responsibility’ to take part in CSR projects.

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