volunteer in the united arab emirates

Volunteer in the United Arab Emirates | Details

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Introduction on volunteer in the United Arab Emirates

Volunteering is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the United Arab Emirates. The most popular image that people have of the United Arab Emirates is of Dubai, and the most popular image that people have of Dubai is without a doubt the Burj Khalifa poking through the clouds, or perhaps even a cheetah perched out of the back of a Ferrari. (Yeah, it does occur!)

You might be surprised to learn that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government proclaimed 2017 to be a national Year of Giving, emphasizing volunteerism. One of the five pillars of Islam, zakat, is best translated as “giving.” It can be practiced by doing good deeds for other people. This mindset is still present in 2018 with the Arab nation as a whole strongly supporting volunteer work.

There are many opportunities to truly make a difference while volunteering in Dubai or anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates, and you’ll also get to experience a lively and dynamic culture. But volunteering is controlled, just like a lot of other things in the UAE. When making the decision to visit the desert, it is advisable to do some research.

volunteer in the united arab emirates

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Official charities in Dubai and beyond are required to register with the government of the United Arab Emirates. The government makes sure that the activities are legal because fund-raising, a popular charitable activity, cannot be done without authorization. Additionally, it guarantees that volunteers who interact with minors are appropriate and fit individuals.

Don’t let this deter you, though. Both citizens and visitors of the United Arab Emirates have the opportunity to volunteer for recognized charities that offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities. Instead of longer-term programs, the majority of opportunities are available on an as-needed, temporary basis.

Managing Individuals with Particular Needs

The government of the United Arab Emirates firmly backs social enterprises that give people with special needs opportunities. Volunteers can assist Manzil, an organization that provides social inclusion programs for young people with special needs, in a variety of ways, such as event planning, therapeutic horseback riding, arts and crafts, and cooking classes. It is situated in Sharjah and is easily accessible from Dubai, should you choose to base yourself there while volunteering in the United Arab Emirates. Based in Dubai as well, Al Noor is a center for special needs kids. Volunteers can assist in many facets of student life on the campus by taking advantage of the bus service that the organization provides.

Opportunities for Support & Healthcare

The Emirates Red Crescent, a branch of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent associations, offers qualified medical professionals and others working in the care and medical industry the chance to volunteer. They have a plethora of roles you can apply for, including support, non-medical administration, and teaching, and they accept non-residents.

Volunteering with Domestic Animals

K9 Friends is the United Arab Emirates’ oldest dog shelter, having been established in 1989. Regrettably, abandoned pets are a major issue in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates overall. K9 Friends works in the area to provide care and a new home for stray dogs. They occasionally provide shorter-term opportunities for visitors who wish to volunteer, though they usually only accept volunteers who can commit for six months or longer.

volunteer in the united arab emirates

Ramadan, The Month of Giving

In the UAE, Ramadan is a very special time. Muslims in this Arabic-speaking nation fast from dawn until dusk, when they break their fast with an Iftar (evening meal). Muslim laborers from other countries come to the United Arab Emirates in large numbers, and large, volunteer-run tents often provide free Iftar meals to laborers during Ramadan. Through the Emirates Foundation’s volunteer program, Takatof, you can help with the preparation and serving of these Iftar meals.

Dubai is a very costly place to live, visit, and volunteer. Make sure you have enough money to live in Dubai and support yourself while volunteering before you even think about the kind of volunteer position you would like to take on. Taxes are levied on practically all goods and services in the city, including a “Value Added Tax,” even though salaries are exempt from them.

Furthermore, there are organizations that only accept volunteerism from locals. It is advised that you get in touch with the organization you want to volunteer for as soon as possible to find out if non-residents of the United Arab Emirates are welcome to work there.

Place to Live and Sleep

Look for affordable apartment-hotels or accommodations on Airbnb if you are traveling to Dubai for a brief volunteer assignment. The cost of air-conditioned, tidy, and comfortable lodging would run you about 1000-1500AED ($272-$400) per week. While sharing housing is far less expensive, it’s frequently not an option for short-term stays. In the United Arab Emirates, there’s a robust expat community, so you might be able to stay with a citizen for less money.

Living in one city with people from fifty different countries results in some rather strange driving habits. Like most of the Middle East, driving in Dubai can be intimidating and chaotic at times. The good news is that most major locations are covered by the Dubai metro and feeder bus network, and taxis are inexpensive and widely available. Make sure to book lodging close to a metro stop in order to save money on transportation.

Tips & Requirements for Language Volunteer in the United Arab Emirates

The majority of people in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates speak some English, making it simple to get by in daily life with just that language. But the volunteer organizations run by the government will probably have a mix of English and Arabic speakers in charge. Certain opportunities will be restricted to local Emiratis, while others will be open to anyone proficient in Arabic. Knowing Hindi could also be helpful, considering the sizeable Indian expat community in Dubai.

Packing Advice

Bring only airy, lightweight clothing that breathes; avoid synthetic or polyester materials. It is advisable for women to bring modest attire. While lounging by the pool in your bathing suit is totally fine, it is not appropriate to go about the city in your beachwear. In public, you should try your best to keep your knees and shoulders covered. Always carry a note from your doctor explaining the prescription if you need to bring medication into work.

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Extra Advice

If your country isn’t among those that can obtain a 30- or 90-day visa upon arrival in the United Arab Emirates, you can apply ahead of time for an e-visa. The countries for which you must apply ahead of time for a visa are listed on the Emirates website. You must fall under the category of paid local employment or have a spouse or family member sponsor you in order to obtain a residency visa. Please be aware that if you stay longer than the time frame allowed by your visa approval, you will be fined.

The two government-owned telecommunications companies, Etisalat and DU, offer tourist SIM cards to visitors. These last for 30 days, including data and minutes, and cost about 100AED ($30).

The two biggest cities in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have extremely high living expenses, including groceries. Making meals at home or using Talabat, the local Uber Eats equivalent, to order inexpensive takeout can help you save money. Avoid giving in to the temptation of eating at one of the many restaurants available; a decent hotel meal will probably cost you at least 150AED ($40).

Within a very safe nation is the city of Dubai. While volunteering in the United Arab Emirates, you are unlikely to encounter any serious crimes, unlike in many other major cities across the world. Before going, there are a few things to be aware of.

Volunteer in the United Arab Emirates Well-being

Although very expensive, healthcare in the United Arab Emirates is of a high caliber. It is imperative that visitors have valid travel insurance while in the United Arab Emirates. If you are a resident, obtaining residency would have required you to provide proof of health insurance.

No vaccinations are needed to travel to Dubai, but if you want to live there permanently, you will need to pass tests for HIV, Hepatitis C, and tuberculosis. When visiting, it’s advised that you have a current MMR vaccination, tetanus, and hepatitis A and B shots.

Summertime temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit are not unusual. Most people can’t stay outside in that heat for longer than a few minutes before becoming sick. It’s also crucial to remember that it’s against the law for anyone to eat, drink, or even breathe in public during Ramadan. Air conditioning is a common feature of most public buildings, including malls, public transportation, and housing.

volunteer in the united arab emirates

Volunteer in the United Arab Emirates Security

Although there isn’t much crime in the United Arab Emirates, there are still plenty of con artists that prey on tourists, such as luring them into a white Lexus that costs double that of a regular taxi and convincing them to go to a particular store to make purchases. Proceed with common sense and exercise the same caution that you would in any other city. The good news is that most of these scams will only cause mild irritation rather than posing a threat.

There are a lot of terrifying tales about Dubai that you will hear, but most of them are just that—tales. But it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the U.A.E.’s regulations. It is not appropriate to make public displays of affection, and you should dress modestly when you are in public. Avoid drinking in public, and if you live there, you need a liquor license to drink alcohol inside your own house.


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