This year will be the Year of Giving, the President, Sheikh Khalifa decreed.
There will be three main themes: strengthening social responsibility in the private sector, promoting a spirit of volunteering and strengthening the concept of serving the nation in new generations of Emiratis and expatriates.
“Choosing 2017 to be the Year of Giving reflects the UAE’s humanitarian approach since its establishment,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
“The UAE is the country of goodness, and Emiratis are carrying forward the humanitarian legacy of Sheikh Zayed. When people speak about achievements, we are proud of following the humanitarian approach of Sheikh Zayed, and when people speak about their history, we speak about the history of the humanitarian achievements since the establishment of the country.”
The launch of the Year of Giving 2017 follows the conclusion of 2016 as Year of Reading.
Underscoring the importance of humanitarian work, Sheikh Khalifa said: “The UAE has global accomplishments in the field of humanitarian aid and we seek to boost this culture as it represents one of the most important merits of the UAE’s personality and its institutions.”
Sheikh Khalifa said the noblest aspect of humanitarian work was in service of the homeland, working to develop it and make sacrifices for its goals.
“True citizenship does not mean to take always but also means sacrificing precious things for the sake of the homeland,” he said. “Serving it is a shared responsibility between the Government, individuals and private sector, and the UAE will always be one team.”
The President said volunteering was a measure of a society’s development. “Our goal is to instil the culture of voluntary service and service to society as a higher value in our institutions and our citizens.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the establishment of a framework for the Year of Giving that identifies objectives, drafts federal and local initiatives, unifies volunteer work in all its forms, and takes steps to strengthen a culture of social responsibility that embraces individuals and institutions from the public and private sectors in work towards the further development of the UAE.
“The year 2017 will be the year of partnership with the private sector to offer something exceptional to the community and contribute effectively to the march of the development of our country,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Our goal is to let individuals, the private sector and government departments, work in co-ordination and integration to achieve better development of society.”