DUBAI, 20th October, 2018 (WAM) — The Board of Directors of the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) has welcomed the issuance of a Decree by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to place the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy under the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, as part of a long-term strategy to widen its circle of beneficiaries locally and globally.
The Board articulated its unanimous acceptance of the leadership’s decision during its fifth periodic meeting for 2018 at which the waqf (endowment) reconstruction portfolio was also adopted.
As part of the board meeting, members were briefed on the initiatives of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy. Among the centre’s objectives that were highlighted included the transformation of Dubai into a global centre for endowment research and expertise, empowerment of collective financing initiatives, and expansion of the uses of endowment to include traditional as well as contemporary mandates in line with AMAF’s mission to grow the use of innovative endowments and promote the contribution of different segments in endowments that serve society.
The Board was briefed on the latest developments in regard to the waqf reconstruction portfolio that has increased its total value by more than 77% from 2010 till 2017. The portfolio oversees construction and reconstruction works of endowment projects supervised by AMAF whose governance is subject to the public investment policy that was approved by AMAF at the beginning of this year.
Approving a study to finance new endowment real estate projects through AMAF’s endowment reconstruction portfolio, the Board also authorized the amendment of the percentage of takaful contributions in the portfolio, and the implementation of this new percentage from 2018 until 2020, subject to review every three years.
The Board discussed future steps, such as preparing a comprehensive policy to manage the reconstruction portfolio, the portfolio’s contribution to establishing new endowment mandates, and completing a comprehensive investment plan to grow the portfolio’s revenues.
The Board further reviewed the regular reports on properties managed by AMAF, including commercial and residential assets whose revenues are earmarked for various endowment projects and initiatives, as well as minors’ care and empowerment projects. These properties include commercial outlets, residential apartments and villas.
As part of the fifth board meeting for 2018, members of the Board looked into the Land Department’s reports which present a detailed disclosure of the data for lands that are under the Foundation’s administration, the areas of their distribution, use, and their completion plans. The report includes details of the licenses and contracts of the assigned land consultants, as well as leasing under the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) system, and studies of development projects that enhance the usefulness of the invested lands.
Ali Al Mutawa, Secretary General of AMAF, said: “The Foundation is now capable of consolidating the waqf culture and widening the scope of its use through innovative mechanisms. This became more feasible after merging the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Endowment Consultancy with the Foundation, which is considered a global reference for endowment affairs. The merger will cultivate the capabilities of the Foundation to further help spread the culture of waqf and open doors for all segments of society to participate in innovative endowment fields such as futurism and artificial intelligence. We are confident that this step will also work to benefit several groups, including women and children, and people of determination and go a long way in building a cohesive society as specified in the UAE Vision 2021.
Al Mutawa said that the contribution of the Foundation’s reconstruction portfolio and its approval by the Board enhances its mission in the development of waqf and care for minors. Adding that such an initiative will encourage donors, individuals and institutions to deploy endowment in human, social, and economic development, he commended the Foundation’s cadres and their role in educating the public about the versatility of endowment.
The fifth board meeting for 2018 was chaired by His Excellency Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman of AMAF, and drew the participation of their excellencies Abdul Rahman Al Hareb, Vice Chairman, Ali Al Mutawa, Secretary General, Khaled Al Thani, Deputy Secretary General, and other board members including Huda Bu Hmaid, Hamad Al-Qatami, and Dr Abdul Aziz Al Hammadi.