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DUBAI: The Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) confirmed that Federal Law No. 3 of 2021 concerning the Regulation of Fundraising Activities prohibits a natural person from hosting, organising or carrying out any fundraising activity with the aim of collecting or accepting funds from the public by any means, in line with the regulations issued by the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF).

The ministry emphasised that the Fundraising Regulatory Law stipulates the conditions and procedures for fundraising, obligating licenced entities to obtain a fundraising permit from the competent authority, with fundraising activities to be carried out through charitable organisations.

In this context, Hessa Abdul Rahman Tahlak to Assistant Under-Secretary for Community Development at MoCD, said that any attempt made by natural persons to collect donation to aid certain humanitarian cases by any means of advertising, whether through social media or websites, is a punishable offence under the fundraising regulations law.

"The law stipulates that violators shall be subject to imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh150,000 and not more than Dh300,000 or one of the two penalties, without prejudice to any more severe penalty stipulated by another law, as well as the confiscation of the collected donations by the court."

Hessa Tahlak stated that the ministry and competent local authorities are responsible for overseeing and controlling non-benefit profit associations & NGOs through the implementation of inspection field visits to ensure that the non-benefit public associations and NGOs, its members as well as the society members fully comply with the provisions of the law. Approximately (2,400) evaluation and inspection visits were carried out on the sector from the beginning of 2019 until the end of last October which resulted to a series of penalties and administrative fines on violators from these associations.

Furthermore, Hamed Al Zaabi, Director of the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing stated that the main goal of the laws and regulations applied in the UAE are to protect fundraisers and protect their funds from the risks of exploitation in financing terrorism and illegal organisations. Al Zaabi emphasised the need for all members of the society to abide by the laws and regulations on countering money laundering and terrorist financing in the UAE.

It is worth mentioning that the federal law of fundraising regulations, procedures and bylaws specified for these tasks come in line of the keenness of the Ministry of Community Development and the Executive Office for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing is to promote and increase awareness among all the members of the community with the laws and regulations applied in the UAE, thereby enhancing stability, security and cohesion of the society.