What are the public interest associations and civil society foundations (NGOs)?


All regulated associations have the capacity to continue for a limited or unlimited period, and they consist of natural or legal persons with the intention of achieving social, religious, cultural, scientific, educational, professional, feminist, creative, or artistic activity, providing humanitarian services, achieving a charity purpose, or achieving solidarity whether by providing assistance and moral or technical expertise. These associations seek in all their activities to achieve only the public interest without obtaining any profits. Membership in these associations is open to everyone according to the provisions of this law. The goal is to define the association’s target and the main purpose for which it was established.

Civil society foundations:

Each institution consists of one founder or a group of founders and is established for a limited or unlimited period by allocating money to achieve one of the purposes mentioned in Article 2 of the Federal Law No.2 of 2008 without obtaining any profits.

What are the requirements for licensing a Associations?

  1. The number of founders shall not be less than 20 members.
  2. The Minister may make an exception so that the number of founders shall not be less than five members.
  3. A member’s age shall not be less than 18 years old.
  4. Members shall have good conduct and reputation and should have never been sentenced to a freedom-restricting punishment such as in a felony or a misdemeanor, unless they have been rehabilitated. All founding and working members shall be UAE citizens, and exceptions may be made by a Cabinet decision.
  5. All previous provisions shall apply to associations composed of legal persons to the extent that aligns with the nature of these associations.  

What are the required documents?

  1. Approved initial request of the relevant local authority, in which the association’s headquarters is located.
  2. The association’s statute shall be signed by the founding members, with a summary document.
  3. Records of the minutes of the founders' meeting, signed by all attendees.
  4. Records of the minutes of the meeting of the temporary committee.
  5. The decision of the temporary committee authorizing one member to submit monthly reports.
  6. A statement that includes the names, titles, professions, and places of residence of the founding members.
  7. Copy of the Emirates ID and passport of each founding member.
  8. Data form of the founding members.
  9. Data form of members of the Board of Trustees (if the applicant is a civil institution). 

How can we apply to the licensing service?

Applications are received through the email ngo.licensing@addcd.gov.ae

Are there any fees to apply for the licensing service?

There are no servicing fees. 

Who is the target audience of this service?

UAE citizens who are at least 18 years old, with good reputation and of legal status, who meets the previous conditions.

What’s the status of services provided for current beneficiaries?

All entities will continue to provide services to all beneficiaries without any direct impacts on the stages’ delivery. Any changes that may affect the beneficiary's journey will be communicated later, through a single point of contact, in a shorter time.

If the application is initially approved, will the associations be allowed to begin their activities?

An initial approval does not give the authority to proceed, since it is only an approval to complete the public announcement and licensing procedures.

Is there a certain language for submitting the licensing requirements?

All requirements shall be submitted in Arabic. 
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