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Home > CSR in Dubai
CSR in Dubai

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Dubai and the UAE has always been present from the earliest Islamic times, with people and organizations practising Islamic values, donating through philanthropy and Shariah compliant ways of commerce. In recent years, there have been worldwide initiatives to invest responsibly and focus on investing profits into community life and saving the environment.

CSR at government level
The UAE is among the countries in the region most interested in social welfare, through the provision of various public services aimed at maintaining an advanced level of social and economic stability. This has included the provision and development of infrastructure and municipal services, education and health.
 
The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme is one such social development programme that provides housing for UAE citizens, while at the emirate level, the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment aims to provide adequate housing for its citizens.
 
The Ramadan Ration project run by the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Humanitarian Foundation (KZHF) allows UAE nationals to purchase basic food items at a subsidized cost.  KZHF purchases these items at market prices and ensures their sale at highly subsidized prices.
From June 2012, this subsidy has been extended throughout the year.  Emiratis in Dubai can present their Emirates ID card to any Al Ittihad Cooperative Society outlet and avail of the subsidized price. These include flour, rice, dates, cooking oil, juices, water  with more items to be added to the list.
 
In an effort to achieve a cohesive society dominated by social Arab and Islamic values, the country's leadership has taken the initiative to set up a ‘Marriage Fund’ which was  integrated with social policy legislated by the country since the beginning of the Union. There are similar social initiatives in the health, religious and education sector. Similarly, Both Dubai Government and the private sector reach out to the needs of the disadvantaged through CSR, sustainability and environmental activities. These include initiatives from entities such as the Emirates Foundation, Dubai Cares, the Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation, International Humanitarian City, Hawkamah and Dubai Chamber.
 
In October 2014, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council . The MoU will create a general CSR framework in Dubai which will serve as a reference for companies looking to adopt strategies that will serve the community. The framework includes CSR concepts and sustainability standards,  and explains the importance of contributing to social responsibility initiatives and their future impact.  
 
Dubai Cares
In 2007, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the
Dubai Cares campaign with the aim of supporting the education of children and combating poverty and illiteracy in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance
Hawkamah which means ‘corporate governance’ in Arabic was launched in 2006 with the aim of advancing governance practices not just in Dubai, but also in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Core objectives include executing and improving corporate governance within the SMEs involving areas of transparency, independent auditing, board responsibilities and sustainable practices. Their website has news, events and initiatives to promote transparent governance throughout the region.

Dubai Government Department Initiatives
Dubai Chamber created the Centre for Responsible Business in 2004 and in 2010 to recognize and reward responsible businesses in Dubai, created the CSR label.  
Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development has launched the Corporate Governance Code for Small & Medium Enterprise to ensure growth and sustainability.
 
The Arabia CSR Network was launched in 2004 as an off-shoot of the Emirates Environmental Group, with the aim of working more closely with the corporate sector in the promotion of sustainable development in the UAE. It has now grown into an independent organization with more than 51 CSR Founding members including the Department of Economic Development, DEWA and Emirates NBD Bank.  To recognize and reward CSR best practices, the Arabia CSR Network has the ACSR Awards annually.

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