Prior permission is required to collect donations
Under the new law, individuals are not entitled to donate to charitable causes. It is also an offense to collect money to help another person or family. Institutions that are licensed to carry out charitable activities, however, must seek special permission from the relevant authorities before collecting donations on any subject. If the donation is accepted without permission, action will be taken including freezing of that bank account.
Do not collect to help people outside the UAE
At the same time, accepting donations from family members to help a family member is not prohibited. But there are restrictions on collecting from family and friends in the UAE to help someone outside the UAE. It can only do so in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Furthermore, individuals are not allowed to make such collections on their own. When medicines and food items are taken out of the country for charity, it should be ensured that they have a shelf life of at least six months.
Contribution through social media
The new law prohibits the collection of donations through social media and other digital formats without special permission from the authorities. It is also an offense to make advertisements and requests related to this online or otherwise. It is also punishable to set up donation boxes in churches, malls, businesses and other places. This too requires the prior approval of government authorities.
Violation of the law carries a jail term and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh
Violation of the collection laws is punishable by a fine of between two and five lakh dirhams and imprisonment. This is the punishment for endangering national security or public life through money laundering. Misappropriation of donations other than the permitted purpose is punishable by imprisonment and a fine of Dh1.5 lakh to Dh3 lakh. In addition to government agencies such as the Zakat Fund, Awqaf and the Minor Affairs Foundation, there are more than 20 recognized charities operating in the UAE.