Saturday 4, June 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: His Excellency Tayeb Abdul Rahman Al-Rais, Secretary General of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) in Dubai, has reiterated that the emirate of Dubai is keen to emerge an international model in sustainable endowment work for charitable and humanitarian services. He noted that Dubai is keen to provide support needed by different segments of society – especially orphans and minors, in line with the emirate’s ongoing efforts to secure the quality of life and ensure a safe and stable environment that brings smiles to the faces of its citizens and visitors alike.

His Excellency Al-Rais shared his observation at an open meeting organized by the Foundation in Dubai with representatives of the local newspapers. In the presence of administrators and officials from the Foundation, His Excellency Al-Rais leveraged the media interaction to highlight AMAF’s most prominent projects and milestones achieved to date and its future plans.

His Excellency Tayeb Al-Rais revealed that during the period from 2006-2014, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation implemented 29 endowment projects at a total cost of over AED1,008 billion. These projects have generated annual revenues of more than AED84 million.

His Excellency Tayeb Al-Rais said the 11 endowment projects that the Foundation undertook in 2015 are expected to be completed by 2018, at a cost of over AED90.5 million. These include the construction of mosques, several residential buildings and villas in Al Bada’a, Satwa, Al Warqa, Hor Al Anz, and Jumeirah and the commercial shops in Al Muhaisnah. Some of these projects are expected to generate revenue of more than AED9 million a year.

On the development of investment projects launched by the Foundation over the past 8 years, His Excellency Al-Rais said that in 2006, AMAF completed the construction of three buildings at a total cost of approximately AED5.44 million and post annual revenues of over AED1.65 million. In 2007, the Foundation completed the construction of Rashidiya Grand Mosque and the Sheikha Latifa waqf building at Al Warqa at a total cost of AED17.5 million, which register annual revenues of nearly AED3.2 million.

He added: “Since 2008, the Foundation’s projects have grown significantly. In the same year, 11 buildings were constructed at a cost of AED243.5 million, and together they generate annual revenues estimated at AED38.7 million. The year 2009 also saw the completion of five more buildings – the largest and most expensive of these included the construction of phase two of a project for low income people at the Al Muhaisnah 4 area. The total expenditure on these buildings exceeded AED535.2 million. These projects generate annual revenues of AED24.8 million for the Foundation.”

Al-Rais noted that in 2010-2012 two commercial and residential buildings were constructed in the Al Nahda and Al Warqa areas at a cost of over AED133 million – which now generate an annual revenue of AED12.7 million. AMAF also constructed several villas in Umm Suqeim and Al Barsha at a cost of AED6.9 million in 2013 that deliver annual revenues of nearly AED1.2 million. In 2014, the Khalifa Al-Tajer ‘green mosque’ and the Family Village as well as a building in the grand market area were constructed at a cost of AED66.3 million. These projects generate annual revenue of AED1.2 million only, as they are majority non-investment projects.

With regard to the Family Village that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2015, to provide a real home for the care of orphaned children, His Excellency Al-Rais said that the village is now home to about 100 children. Providing them with accommodation, education, health and psychological care, the Family Village has within a short period of time emerged as a model in the provision of necessary care to orphans. Expressing his pride at the achievement, Al-Rais added that several local, Arab and international institutions are currently trying to replicate the success of the village and set up similar projects.

The Secretary General of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation reiterated that the Family Village will not stop at what it is currently providing in terms of services or facilities, but will continue to expand its operations in the coming years to enhance the provision of support and care to the orphans. He noted that a plan is in place to open additional facilities within Family Village to accommodate more children. The village is also working to expand its partnerships with various social, health and humanitarian and cultural institutions to offer sustainable development support to qualify, train and empower the children for a safe and happy future.

Al-Rais also highlighted the salma Humanitarian Relief program, the international humanitarian initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, to provide a million Halal meals annually to disaster victims around the world. Implemented in partnership with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and Noor Awqaf Foundation, and in collaboration with the UN Food Programme, salma works to provide 100 percent Halal meals to victims of natural disasters and conflicts globally. The Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) through its strategic partnership with the program is providing necessary logistics support.

Al-Rais reiterated the Foundation’s resolve to make the salma Humanitarian Relief program a permanent humanitarian initiative that would be implemented on an ongoing basis and reflect the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to humanitarian work. Aiming to ease the suffering of people affected by disasters or wars, the program’s wider goals include contributing to enhance food security and eliminate poverty and hunger across the world. Managed by AMAF and its partners from the private and public sector, the project leverages waqf funding and seeks to play a key role in reducing the challenges facing humanity.

Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation works to manage and develop endowment funds through investing them efficiently and leveraging investment proceeds according to a carefully prepared plan. AMAF cares for minors and handles their money through making sound investments on their behalf. The Foundation provides them with social care and empowerment. To achieve its goals, AMAF runs several projects – most notably its Family Village – a fully dedicated community orphanage and the first of its kind in the region, as well as the salma Humanitarian Relief program – that aims to provide a million Halal meals to disaster victims around the world.