New Dubai law will motivate volunteers
From 20 registrations in 2009, Volunteer App now has more than 12,000 members
The new law on volunteering in Dubai will promote a culture of giving among residents and is a one-of-a-kind protection for both volunteers and beneficiaries, a senior official said yesterday.
Law No 5 of 2018 issued on Sunday regulates volunteering work in the emirate and sets controls that will motivate and protect volunteers.
Dubai’s Community Development Authority (CDA) has been given the authority to draw up plans and public policies for voluntary work in Dubai and supervise their implementation, among others.
Hana Bakkar Al Harthi, director of Social Cohesion Department at CDA, told Gulf News that the new law provides a roadmap to develop the culture of volunteering.
‘Eliminates grey areas’
“Based on our benchmark, we have not seen any laws anywhere specifically assigned for volunteering that governs and protects volunteers and entities. The new law has eliminated any grey areas in the relationship between the individual volunteer and the entity [beneficiary],” Al Harthi said.
“Having a law that governs such a sensitive topic like volunteering is a great step that we see for the future of volunteerism in Dubai and the UAE,” she added.
In the first quarter of 2018, around 1,200 new volunteers — or 17 volunteers per day — gave back to society. Their volunteering hours contributed to savings of Dh3.9 million.
In 2017, volunteers clocked in a total of 88,872 hours, equivalent to a savings of Dh6.9 million. To put the 2017 figure in perspective, it is like working non-stop for 3,703 days or a little over 10 years.
“In the first three months of 2018, we accomplished more than one-third of the volunteering hours we had in 2017. With this decree, I think we will not only be talking about thousands of volunteering hours but hundreds of thousands,” Al Harthi said.
Volunteering has received a boost since CDA first organised it in 2009 with just 20 volunteers to more than 12,000 volunteers now registered in the Dubai Volunteer App.