The art of giving

Aug 8, 2017, 14:52 PM by User Not Found

The UAE gives its residents so much. A safe place to live; tax-free salaries; year-round sunshine; and a welcoming local culture. Now it’s time for residents to give back.  

As a New Year dawned in the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, declared 2017 to be the Year of Giving. While the onus has been put on government and corporations to foster social responsibility and promote a spirit of giving and serving the nation, the responsibility also falls on individuals to give what they can. 

So how can you afford to give back to the nation you call home?

Give responsibly

There is no point in becoming a charity case yourself – this will only become a burden on others. Money that you donate must be budgeted for. Work out how much you can afford to give, just as you would any other expense in your budget, and resist the temptation to go over the limit you set.

Make sacrifices

Once you’ve sliced up your monthly expenses, if you find you don’t have a crumb leftover for charity perhaps it’s time to re-think your priorities. Do you really need new clothes every month? Could you sacrifice one meal out? The money you save could be given to a charity that would feed and clothe a starving child. By comparison, the sacrifice you will make seems very small.

Waste not, want not

We all have purchases we regret haunting our cupboards. However, these can be recycled into a generous donation. Are your shelves groaning under the weight of books you’re never read? Are your wardrobes bursting with clothes you’ve never worn? Numerous organisations in Dubai will be grateful for your old clothes, books, DVDs and toys. Or you could sell unwanted items yourself and donate the money to charity.

Even old furniture could help cushion someone’s misfortune. Take My Junk will collect any unwanted household items in Dubai and redistribute them to low-income households. With so many people in need, there is no need for anything to end up in the landfill.

Giving time


Time is indeed money, and it is every bit as valuable. If you can’t afford to give money, you can probably afford some time. There are numerous opportunities for volunteering in Dubai, or you can try raising money through a sponsored activity. Volunteering is the gift that gives back; as well as making a difference to someone else’s life, you could make friends, brush up old skills and give yourself an edge on a CV.

Other ways to give

Donations are given in many currencies; time and money aren’t the only ways to make a difference to your community. You could save a life by making a donation to the Dubai Blood Donation Centre. You can help the UAE Dolphin Project by reporting any sightings, which will be logged on a central database to help scientists studying dolphins in the region. There are numerous local charities in Dubai that you can help simply by sharing posts on social media to raise awareness.

Everyone can afford to give something back; make sure 2017 is the year that you do.
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