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Social Affairs

eServices you might need

The UAE Government offers many services to bring social stability in the society. It provides services and facilities in the areas of housing, marriages, employment, religious affairs and sports. It also provides special services and facilities for women, children, seniors and those with special needs.

 

The vision of Ministry of Social Affairs is building a coherent and cohesive society involved in social development. The Ministry is working on achieving these main strategic initiatives for the years 2014 to 2016.

 

 

 

Read about services and facilities for:

a.      Housing

b.      Marriage

c.      Sports and recreation

d.      Religious affairs

e.      Employment and retirement

f.       Women

g.      Children

h.      Special needs

i.       Seniors

 

Housing

eServices you might need from Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme

 

The government allocates land or provides free housing or housing loan, residential facilities and maintenance to deserving Emiratis.

 

Ministry of Public Works is responsible for organising the housing sector.

 

The Housing Allocation Committee at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA) is responsible for assigning houses and residential plots.

 

Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme provides housing to deserving UAE nationals and Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment provides housing to UAE nationals of the emirate of Dubai.

 

Read about how to avail housing benefits in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

 

Useful links:

•         Housing programmes for UAE nationals – Dubai government portal

•         Housing and property – Abu Dhabi government portal

 

Marriage

eServices you might need from Marriage Fund

 

Deserving Emiratis receive marriage grants or have their wedding performed in a mass wedding. Zawaj Fund receives applications for marriage grants. It also organises mass weddings. Read about marriage grants in Abu Dhabi.

 

Community Development Authority offers the following marriage–related services:

•         Finding the right marriage partner

•         Provide community centres and majlis venues for wedding ceremonies

•         Provide counselling before and after marriage

 

Sports and recreation

eServices you might need from General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare

General Authority of Youth and Sports Culture is the supreme governmental authority responsible for the welfare of youth and sport sector in the country according to the stipulations of the Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2008.

 

Read about the services and information relating to sports in Abu DhabiDubai and Sharjah.

 

You could also read a general article about sports in the UAE

 

Useful links:

•         Sports in the UAE - UAEPedia 

 

Religious Affairs

eServices you might need from Awqaf

 

Islam is the official religion of the UAE. Other religions are freely practised in the UAE. 

 

General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments is responsible for among others:

•         religious guidance to instill the principle of moderation in Islam

•         spread Islamic culture and enhance religious awareness

•         manage and supervise mosques

 

It also offers services relating to Fatwa and Hajj.

 

Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities determines the overall policy of the Islamic affairs and charitable works in Dubai, spreads Islamic knowledge and culture, raises religious awareness across the community, reviews and prints the Holy Qur'an, religious publications and multimedia and licenses their distribution.

 

Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation is responsible for the legal supervision over the Awqaf, its care and investment, as well as the well-being of minors. It manages, and invests such money through an Islamic perspective in full Sharia compliance as well as cares and empowers such minors.

 

Zakat Fund works to increase awareness about paying zakat; one of the five pillars of Islam.

 

Useful links:

•         Islam in Abu Dhabi emirate – Abu Dhabi government portal

•         Services and information relating to religious activities in Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi government portal

•         Islamic Affairs – Dubai government portal

•         Services and information relating to religious activities in Dubai – Dubai government portal

•         Services and information relating to religious activities in Sharjah – Sharjah government portal

•         Prayer and Iftar timings – for Abu Dhabi and Dubai

•         Mosques in the UAE – UAE Interact

•         Ramadan in the UAE – UAE government portal

•         Going on Hajj – Dubai government portal

•         Maktoum Centres for memorising the Holy Quran

•         Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

•         Zayed House for Islamic Culture

•         Other religious communities – Abu Dhabi government portal

 

Download apps for Zakat Fund, General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities and Dubai AMAF.

 

Employment and retirement

eServices you might need (for UAE Nationals)

 

 

The Ministry of Labour consists of four main sectors: Labour Sector, Inspection Sector, Policies and Strategies Sector, and Supporting Service Sector.

 

Employment

•         Employment of UAE nationals

The UAE government has taken various measures to boost employment amongst UAE nationals. Some of them are:

 

Ø  Emiratisation

The UAE government introduced Emiratisation that mandates the inclusion of Emiratis to increase their number in the job market and contribution to the economy by offering them more employment opportunities, practical and job-oriented training, career guidance and by motivating them to take up more challenging jobs to complement their qualifications, experience, skills and interest.

 

Read about Emiratisation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

 

Ø  Absher initiative

The Absher initiative aims to enhance the participation of UAE citizens in the labour market. Its vision is to provide a decent life for UAE citizens through stable, competitive and rewarding careers.

 

Ø  Emirates National Development Programme

The vision of Emirates National Development Programme (ENDP) is to become the catalyst for the widespread integration of UAE nationals into the private sector, for the prosperity of the private sector and well-being of the nation.

 

•         Employment of foreigners 

Foreigners can work legally in the UAE, after they obtain a work visa (which is applied for by their employer). Read about work and employment in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

 

•         Employment for early retirees

Tajdeed is a national initiative launched by the UAE Academy and Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council to provide job opportunities for experienced UAE nationals between the ages of 35-50 who retired from civilian and military services. The programme seeks to re-integrate retirees into the labour market and benefit from the experience and expertise acquired by them over their years of service.

 

•         Employment of people with special needs

•         Employment of women

•         Employment of seniors

 

Read about working in the UAE.

 

Retirement and pension

UAE nationals working in government and private sectors are eligible for pensions and other retirement benefits after reaching the retirement age of 60 or serving a minimum 20 years in total.

 

General Authority for Pensions and Social Security manage pensions across the UAE.

 

In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and Benefits Fund manage pensions.

 

Foreign workers are not entitled to pension but are entitled to end-of-service benefits also known as gratuity or severance pay. 

 

Read about services and information related to retirement and pension in Abu Dhabi.

 

Read about services and information related to retirement and pension from government and private sector in Dubai.

 

UAE government job portals:

•         Abu Dhabi government job portal

•         Dubai government job portal

 

Useful links:

•         Tips for writing a good CV – Emirates Nationals Development Programme

•         Tips for preparing for an interview – Emirates National Development Programme

•         Labour in the UAE – UAE Interact

•         Federal Authority for Government Human Resources

•         National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority (TANMIA)

•         Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council

•         Wages Protection System

•         Career Fairs in Abu Dhabi

•         Employee rights in Dubai

 

Laws:

•         Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 or the UAE Labour Law

•         Emiratisation laws

•         Law No. (2) of 2000 on Civil Pensions and Benefits in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

•         Federal Law No. 7 of 1999 for pensions and social security

 

Forms:

•         Insured services application forms – General Pension and Social Security Authority

 

Women

eServices you might need

 

 

Ministry of Social Affairs and General Women’s Union works towards empowering women through their various initiatives and programmes. 

 

In Dubai, Community Development Authority and Dubai Foundation for Women and Children care for and rehabilitate survivors of abuse.

 

Shelter for Women and Children (Eva) provides relief and health, psychological and legal care to survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

 

Education

Education for Emiratis is free in public schools, colleges and universities. Expatriates can enrol in any of the several privately run schools, colleges and universities.

 

Read more about education in the UAE.

 

Housing

Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme provides for housing for single Emirati women.

 

Employment

•         Maternity leave

As per UAE Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 for Labour Law and its Amendments, a working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of forty five days including the time before and after delivery. In addition, a working woman nursing her child shall, during the eighteen months following the date of delivery, be entitled to two additional breaks each day for this purpose, neither of which shall exceed half an hour.

 

•         Nurseries in offices

According to Cabinet Resolution No 19 of 2006, ministries and other Government institutions with more than 50 female employees should set up crèches or nurseries at their headquarters for their employees’ children. This is aimed to boost productivity, reduce resignations and support family stability. Nurseries fall under the scope of Ministry of Social Affairs

 

Retirement and pensions

Emirati women working in government and private sectors are eligible for pensions and other retirement benefits after reaching the retirement age of 55 or serving a minimum 20 years in total.

 

Transportation

In Abu Dhabi, pink taxis are driven by women and meant solely for women and children younger than 10 years old.

 

In Dubai, seats are reserved for women on the public buses, trams and metros. Special taxis for ladies and families are available. 

 

In Sharjah too, special taxis for women are available.

 

Find out services and information relating to women and family in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

 

Useful links:

•         Women Entrepreneurs in Dubai

•         Dubai Women’s Establishment

 

Children 

eServices you might need

 

 

Ministry of Social Affairs works towards empowering children through their various initiatives and programmes. 

 

The Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Centre (CPC) protects children’s rights by educating the public about children’s rights, making policy/legislation recommendations related to children’s rights and protecting them against bullying and all forms of exploitation.

 

Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation in Abu Dhabi and Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai are responsible for the well-being of minors.

 

In Dubai, Community Development Authority and Dubai Foundation for Women and Children care for and rehabilitate survivors of child abuse.

 

Shelter for Women and Children (Eva) provides relief and health, psychological and legal care to survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

 

Education

Education for Emiratis is free in public schools, colleges and universities. Expatriates can enrol in any of the several privately run schools, colleges and universities.

 

Read more about education in the UAE.

 

Transportation

In Abu Dhabi, pink taxis are driven by women and meant solely for women and children younger than 10 years old.

 

In Dubai, seats are reserved for children on the public buses, trams and metros. Special taxis for ladies and families are available. 

 

In Sharjah too, special taxis for women are available.

 

Find out services and information relating to women and family in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

 

Special needs

eServices you might need

 

 

Government entities and NGOs in the UAE provide a range of services for people with special needs. On this page, you will find information relating to services in the fields of healthcare, education, employment and rehabilitation.

 

Rights of people with special needs

The Federal Law No. (29) of 2006 Concerning the Rights of People with Special Needs (the law) protects the rights of people with special needs and guarantees them the right to live with dignity.

 

Read more about services in the fields of:

•         Healthcare

•         Education

•         Employment

•         Rehabilitation

 

Healthcare for people with special needs

Article 2 of the law provides: A person's special needs shall not be a reason to deprive him/her of their rights and services especially in welfare as well as social, economic, health, educational, professional, cultural and leisure services.

 

The Ministry of Health issues Disability assessment report and accredits medical reports of people with special needs.

 

Health Authority Abu Dhabi provides assesses the mental status and work fitness level for people with special needs.

 

Dubai Health Authority offers occupational therapy that involves assessment of disabled drivers and providing recommendations for vehicle modifications.

 

Useful links

•         Raising a special needs’ child – Abu Dhabi Government portal

•         Emergency service for special needs – Abu Dhabi Government portal

•         Services guide for people with special needs – Health Authority Abu Dhabi (PDF, 391 KB)

•         Health assessment and certificates – Abu Dhabi Government portal

•         Health insurance – Abu Dhabi Government portal

•         Centres for people with special needs – Abu Dhabi Government portal

•         People with disabilities – Dubai Government portal

•         Special Needs Center – Dubai Health Authority

 

Education for people with special needs

Article 12 of the law provides: The country guarantees people with special needs equal opportunities in education within all educational, vocational training, adult education and continuing education institutions in regular classes or special classes with the availability of curriculum in sign language or Braille or and any other methods as appropriate.

 

Inclusion of children with special needs in the education system

Ministry of Education provides expert teachers who specialise in dealing with such children.

 

The National Project for Inclusion of People with Special Needs emphasises on providing the necessary environment and facilities for people with special needs in order to facilitate their practical access to the educational system. 156 public schools across the UAE implemented this project, as of the academic year 2014-2015.

Programmes and initiatives towards providing equal educational opportunities

Ministry of Education offers several training programmes and facilities, targeting special children, kindergarten teachers and parents of children with special needs.

 

Programmes include guidance for dealing with people with visual and hearing disabilities, talent identification programmes, getting familiar with sign language for the deaf and handling speech and language disorders in kindergarten-going children.

 

Useful links

•         Getting an education – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government 

•         Special needs programs and initiatives in Abu Dhabi- the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

•         Special Education Centres  - Abu Dhabi Education Council

•         Going to school for people with disabilities – Government of Dubai

•         Special education - Embassy of the UAE-Cultural Division, Washington DC

 

Support centres

Ministry of Education has set up support centres to follow up and evaluate the progress of students with special needs before and after integration in schools. These centres provide various services including individual diagnosis of students with disabilities and learning difficulties, recommendations, helping and supporting parents to deal with the child’s situation, and directing them to sources with appropriate support services for their child.

 

National institutes concerned with special needs can benefit from annual grants and rewards and professional programmes for qualifying experts in the field of special education.

 

Useful links

•         Khalifa Award for Education

•         Annual grant programme of Emirates Foundation for youth development – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

 

Employment for people with special needs

Article 16 of the law provides: UAE nationals with special needs have the right to work and hold public office. Their special needs shall not be a barrier for their nomination and selection for a job. Special needs should be taken into account while testing the candidate's competency for the job.

 

Based on this provision, the Ministry of Interior’s Centers for Rehabilitation and Employment of people with special needs and Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO) facilitate job opportunities for those with special needs by offering training and rehabilitation. 

 

Further, the Community Development Authority in Dubai initiated El Kayt Program to enable UAE nationals above 18 years of age and who have special needs, find jobs that suit their skills, academic qualifications and physical capabilities; in private and government sectors. The programme also provides training sessions to enhance their personal skills and raises the community awareness about their needs.

 

The official portals of Abu Dhabi and Dubai Governments provide more information about the employment of people with special needs.

 

El Kayt Employment Program is devised to include people with disabilities over 18 years old within the job market, in both the public and private sectors. This program aims at providing those individuals with equal and fair opportunity to find jobs suited to their particular skill level, academic qualifications and physical abilities. El Kayt also provides people with disabilities with the appropriate training to enhance their personal skill set.

 

Read about jobs for UAE citizens in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  

 

Useful links

 

Rehabilitation of people with special needs

Article 3 of the law provides: The UAE guarantees people with special needs the equality between them and people without special needs and non-discrimination because of special needs in all legislations as well as economic and social development programmes and policies.

 

The Ministry of Social Affairs offers eServices in the areas of:

•         Issuing special identification cards for people with special needs

•         Registering and licensing rehabilitation centres

 

The Ministry has launched the Harmonization of Disabled Persons initiative to integrate them into the society.

 

The Ministry of Interior’s Centers for the rehabilitation and employment for people with special needs. They offer training, rehabilitation and employment opportunities with the aim of integrating special needs’ people into the society.

 

Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO) works as an umbrella for all humanitarian bodies, social services, orphanages, special needs institutions and any future bodies established in Abu Dhabi for such goals.

 

Useful links

Rehabilitation and support centres and programmes in Abu Dhabi (links from the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government)

•         Centres for people with special needs

•         Getting support for special needs

•         Special needs rehabilitation and employment training

•         Job opportunities and rehabilitation of special needs – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

 

Rehabilitation and support centres and programmes in Dubai

•         Noor Dubai

•         Dubai Autism Center

•         Dubai Center for Special Needs

•         Al Noor Training Centre

•         Rashid Pediatric Therapy Centre

•         Dubai Club for the Disabled

 

Rehabilitation and support centres and programmes in other emirates:

•         Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services

•         Al Thiqah Club for Handicapped (Sharjah)

•         Ajman Center for Disabled persons - Ministry of Social Affairs

•         Fujairah Rehabilitation Center - The National newspaper

•         Ras Al Khaimah for the rehabilitation of the disabled - Public Works & Services Department

•         Takatof special needs projects - Emirates Foundation for Youth Development

•         ICDL GCC Foundation announces cooperation with Abu Dhabi Police - WAM news agency website

•         UAQ Ruler allocates land for Rehabilitation Centre for the disabled - WAM news agency website

 

General

•         Social development – disabled – UAEInteract website

•         Special needs – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

 

Associations

•         Emirates Foundation

•         Tamkeen - Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai

•         UAE Deaf Association (Arabic only)

•         Association of Families of Persons with Disabilities (Arabic only)

 

Seniors

eServices you might need

 

 

The UAE Government and NGOs offer special services, facilities and privileges for seniors in the UAE.

 

Who is a senior person?

Individuals who are 60 years of age or over are seniors.

 

Rehabilitation and care

Ministry of Social Affairs provides shelter to UAE nationals who are at least 60 years at Elderly Care Center where the citizens are provided with social, psychological and general health care.

 

In Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi city and Al Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, offer home care services to all UAE nationals. Some humanitarian and charitable organisations visit senior citizens at their homes to ensure their welfare.

 

Community Development Authority in Dubai runs ‘Elderly Happiness’ and ‘Home Care (Weleef)’ initiatives that ensure rehabilitation, care and happiness of senior citizens. 

Useful links

•         Abu Dhabi Rehabilitation Centre – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

•         Volunteering opportunities in Abu Dhabi – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

•         Mobile unit service – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

•         Home care service – the official portal of Sharjah Government

 

Adult education

Ministry of Education oversees adult education. Educational zones and councils in each emirate implement the vision of the ministry. 

 

Useful links

•         Adult education – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

 

Training and employment for retirees

Working after the age of retirement requires approval of the Minister of Labour or the Undersecretary. Expatriates who are older than 60 are allowed to work after obtaining approval of the Minister of Labour. After the age of 60, labour cards are renewed annually.

 

Pension and grants

Ministry of Social Affairs provides financial assistance to citizens who are unable to provide sufficient income for a decent life for themselves and their family.

 

Emiratis receive pension in accordance with Federal Law No. 7 of 1999 Concerning the Issuance of the Law on Pensions and Social Security.

 

According to Federal Law No. (2) of 2001, senior citizens residing in the UAE are entitled to receive monthly assistance subject to terms as per the existing laws.

 

In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Emiratis receive pension as per Law No. (2) of 2000 on Civil Pensions and Benefits.

 

In the emirate of Dubai, Community Development Authority offers financial support to cover emergencies, housing and several other matters

 

Useful links

•         General Pension and Social Security Authority

•         Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund

Transportation

In Abu Dhabi, Emirati seniors enjoy 50 percent reduction in taxi fare. Department of Transport offers seniors of all nationalities free Ojra passes or Reaya cards, which enable them free, unlimited, lifetime travel on all public buses serving the Abu Dhabi island.

 

In Dubai, Emiratis and expatriates above 60 years are entitled to discounts on public transport.

 

Useful links:

•         Bus transport service – the official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

•         Compare Nol cards by fares – Roads & Transport Authority 

 

Laws for seniors

While a law for the welfare of seniors is underway at the federal level, Law No. (8) of 2015 on Community Development Authority in Dubai, entrusts the entity with the responsibilities of drafting policies and strategic plans and proposing legislations for the protection and empowerment of vulnerable groups.

 

Sources:

•         The official portal of Abu Dhabi Government

•         Gulf News

 

Useful links:

•         Red Crescent Authority

•         Social welfare – UAE Interact

•         Social support to UAE nationals in Abu Dhabi

•         Social benefits provided by Community Development Authority

•         Family counselling and care for juvenile delinquents and abandoned children – Community Development Authority

•         Speciality and homecare services addition – Abu Dhabi government portal

•         Mental support

•         Solving social problems

•         Sanad card

•         Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation (Arabic) 

 

Forms:

•         Forms for various eServices – Ministry of Social Affairs


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