Abu Dhabi Empowers Third Sector in Inaugural Forum: Boosting Sustainable Community Development

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Community Development, the regulator of the social sector in the emirate, successfully organized the much-awaited Third Sector Forum under the theme ‘Partners in Impact.’ The forum took place at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Energy Center.

Notable attendees included HE Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education and Chairwoman of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the DCD, Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, along with various leaders from the government and private sectors, and over 80 third sector entities.

The third sector plays a crucial role in accelerating sustainable development in Abu Dhabi by integrating efforts across different sectors and implementing impactful initiatives and programs.

With the overarching goal to encourage active participation from companies in solving societal issues, the Third Sector Forum featured insightful discussions and interactive workshops to promote the sector’s contributions to society. The event aimed to foster interaction among stakeholders, prioritize initiatives, and establish operational strategies for companies.

In his address, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili emphasized Abu Dhabi’s commitment to achieving a comprehensive and sustainable renaissance by creating a conducive regulatory environment that promotes engagement and contributions from all sectors. This vision seeks to elevate Abu Dhabi’s stature as a destination for stability, prosperity, and quality of life.

“The DCD actively supports NGOs as a crucial pillar of economic and social development. The third sector plays a pivotal role in addressing social challenges and fostering values of community participation and responsibility, thereby enhancing the social sector system continually,” added Al Khaili.

Abu Dhabi currently boasts over 143 third-sector entities, with 85 of them being Public Benefit Associations, classified under various sectors such as civil institutions, humanitarian organizations, communities, solidarity funds, public and cultural institutions, folk arts, theater, professional bodies, and social enterprises.

The Third Sector Forum witnessed the introduction of the third sector framework, aiming to establish an organized system of work for the sector in the emirate. The framework envisions a collaborative approach between the government, private sector, and third sector, focusing on six key pillars: awareness, legislation, financing, capacity building, partnerships, and incentives. These pillars form a comprehensive system supporting the sector’s work, unifying efforts, and realizing the department’s vision of fostering a robust third sector.

The event also launched the official logo of the Third Sector Forum, representing the interconnection and complementarity of roles among stakeholders. The overlapping squares symbolize strength, unity, and cooperation, all driving a positive impact on society.

The forum’s methodology, presented by Noura Al Hammadi, DCD, outlined the objectives and expected outcomes of the event. The forum served as a platform to engage institutions from diverse sectors, discussing Abu Dhabi’s social priorities and collaboratively finding innovative solutions. It is envisioned to shape a better future for the third sector.

The department’s commitment to supporting the third sector’s initiatives was evident through volunteers licensed by DCD and registered with the UAE Volunteers platform, actively participating in organizing the event.

In the coming months, the Third Sector Forum plans to hold periodic meetings to review Abu Dhabi’s sector developments, reinforcing the sector’s role in community participation and contribution. The event will focus on involving non-profit organizations, social institutions, relevant government agencies, the private sector, and the Abu Dhabi community to foster an enabling ecosystem, increasing interest, and awareness about the third sector.

Expect quarterly initiatives, workshops addressing social priorities, and reviews to ensure tangible and sustainable results as Abu Dhabi endeavors to further empower and enhance the third sector, fostering sustainable community development for generations to come.

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