Federal Law No. 29 concerning the Establishment of the General Authority of Awqaf

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  • Country: United Arab Emirates
  • Language: English
  • Document Type: Domestic Law or Regulation
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Status: Law in force
FED LAW No. 29 of 1999
UAE Official Gazette
General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf [Fed Law 29 of 1999] Unamended
General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf [Fed Law 29 of 1999] Federal Law No. (29) of 1999 Concerning Establishment of the General Authority of Awqaf
We, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates,
After perusal of the Constitution; and
Federal Law No. (1) of 1972 concerning competencies of ministries and powers of Ministers, as amended; and
Federal Law No. (8) of 1973 concerning the civil service in the federal government, as amended; and
Federal Law No. (7) of 1976 concerning establishment of the Accounting Diwan; and
Civil Transactions Code issued by federal law no. (5) of 1985, as amended; and
Federal law No. (7) of 1999 concerning issuance of the Pension and Social Security Law; and
Based on what is presented by Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, and approved by the Cabinet,
Federal National Council and the Supreme Council of the Federation,
We have issued the following law:
Article (1) Definitions
In the course of enforcing the provisions of this law, the following words and expressions shall have the
meaning shown against them unless the context requires otherwise:
State : United Arab Emirates.
Authority : The General Authority of the
Islamic and Awqaf Affairs.
Chairman : Chairman of the Authority.
Board : Board of Directors of the
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Director General : Director General of the
Section (1): Establishment of the Authority and Objectives thereof
Article (2)
The General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Awqaf (Endowments) is a public Authority that enjoys an
independent corporate status and the legal competency that is necessary to undertake all acts and actions that
ensure the realization of its purposes. The Authority reports to the Board of Ministers and it submits periodic
reports to the Board of Ministers concerning its activities and the extent to which its goals are realized.
Article (3)
The head office of the Authority shall be in Abu Dhabi city, and other branches of the Authority may be
established in the other cities of the Country by a decision from the Board.
Article (4)
The aim of the Authority is to achieve the policy of United Arab Emirates concerning Islamic Affairs and
Awqaf (Endowments), and to achieve this objective it has the right to undertake the following tasks and powers:
1. Religious guidance and direction in the United Arab Emirates to firmly establish the principal of moderation
with the object of building a safe and conscious society.
2. Spread Islamic culture and build religious awareness by various means in coordination with competent
3. Manage and supervise the mosques in a manner that will enable them to perform their mission perfectly.
4. Express opinion on Sharia’ matters at the request of the competent bodies and individuals.
5. Organize and supervise the affairs of pilgrimage (Hajj) and Umrah and lay the necessary controls in this
6. Convene and supervise religious conferences, symposiums, celebrations, contests, and other relevant
7. Supervise the publication and distribution of the Holy Quran.
8. Supervise the centers for memorizing the Holy Quran, religious institutes and the like.
9. Revising religious publications, recordings, posters, billboards, and determines their suitability for
10. Qualify and prepare the Imams and preachers in coordination with academic institutions.
11. Grant work permits to Imams, preachers and mu’azins (charged with calling for prayers) in accordance with
applicable rules and regulations.
12. Grant licenses to religious centers, Hajj and Umrah campaigns and any other relevant licenses in accordance
with the applicable rules and regulations.
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13. Supervise the Awqaf (Endowments) falling within the Authority’s jurisdiction.
14. Develop and invest the Awqaf (Endowments) assets, suggest projects and programs related to Awqaf
15. Establish firm grounds for the tradition (Sunnah) of Awqaf (Endowments), preach in favor thereof and urge
those who are capable to practice the same in order to achieve the Sharia’ aims to serve interest of the
Article (5)
The endowments of any Emirate may be added to the Authority upon request from the Emirate.
Section (2): Board of directors of the Authority
Article (6)
The Authority shall have a board of directors chaired by a chairperson in the grade of undersecretary and
comprising at least 9 members who shall have the experience and specialization in the work of the Authority
and the objectives thereof, provided that each emirate shall nominate and be represented on the board by one
member. A cabinet resolution shall be issued on the formation, term and provisions of the board.
Article (7)
The Chairman is the legal representative of the Authority before the judiciary and in its relations with other
parties. He shall exercise all powers vested in him in accordance with this law and the regulations and decisions
issued to execute the same.
Article (8)
The Board of Directors is the Authorities’ highest reference point. It undertakes the disposition of the
Authorities’ affairs and realization of its objectives.
The Board in particular exercises the following:
1. Adopt the general policy and necessary plans relating to the Islamic and Awqaf (Endowments) affairs.
2. Adopt rules and regulations organizing the Islamic affairs and Awqaf, (Endowments) including the
regulations of Hajj and Umrah, administrative and financial penalties arising from violation of such regulations,
prescribed by a cabinet decision.
3. Adopt rules and regulations that ensure growth of the revenues of the Awqaf (Endowments), levy the same on
regular basis and maintain the Awqaf (Endowments) premises.
4. Suggest legislations relating to Islamic and Awqaf (Endowments) affairs.
5. Adopt the organization chart of the Authority. A cabinet decision shall be issued in this regard.
6. Adopt the financial and administrative rules and regulations and personnel system at the Authority. A cabinet
decision shall be issued in this regard.
7. Contract with consultants, experts and specialized technicians according to allotments and features set forth
by the Board of Directors within the available budget.
8. Approve the annual revenue and expenditures of Awqaf (Endowments) assets and their final statement of
9. Approve the annual draft balance sheet and the final statement of account of the Authority.
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10. Appoint senior staff of the Authority according to submission made by the Chairman and in compliance
with the personnel system of the Authority.
11. Appoint auditors and set their remuneration.
12. Approve the reports concerning the activities of the departments of the Authority.
13. Form the standing Authority’s committee, set its powers and compensation according to the Chairman’s
14. Approve the statements of accounts submitted by Awqaf (Endowments) supervisors after having audited the
same in accordance with the Authority’s applicable regulations.
15. Suggest licensing and permit charges etc. for the services provided by the Authority. A cabinet decree shall
be issued in this regard.
16. Examine all matters that the Chairman deems fit to be presented to the Board, primarily matters related to
the Authority’s activity.
Article (9)
The Board of Directors shall convene at the invitation of its Chairman at least 10 times per annum, however the
Chairman may invite the Board to convene when necessary or at the request of at least three members of the
Board of Directors.
Article (10)
For the meeting of the Board of Director to be valid it must be attended by its Chairman or Vice Chairman plus
at least half of its members. Board decisions pass in all cases by the majority of votes of those attending, and in
the event of a tie the Chairman of the session shall have the casting vote.
Article (11)
Minutes of the Board’s meetings and resolutions shall be recorded and approved by Chairman of the meeting.
Article (12)
The Board may call such experts as it thinks as appropriate for attending its meetings, without having the right
to vote on the Board’s resolutions.
Article (13)
The Board may form out of its members one or more committees to be assigned with some of its powers, and it
may assign the Chairman or one director to undertake specific function, and the result shall be presented to the
Board to take such appropriate actions.
Article (14)
The Board shall have a secretariat to be formed by a decision from the Chairman, and shall be assigned to
prepare the Board’s meeting and follow-up implementation of its resolutions and coordination with the work
sectors and departments concerning such resolutions issued by the Board and the works assigned by it.
Section (3): General Secretariat of the Authority
Article (15)
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The Chairman shall supervise the management of the Authority and shall run its day-to-day business,
particularly the following functions:
1. Present to the Board the policy of the Authority concerning preaching, guidance, dissemination of Islamic
culture and spreading religious awareness to the Board.
2. Present to the Board the policy of the Authority concerning the management and supervision of mosques in a
manner that bolsters their role mosques and optimally achieve their mission.
3. Present to the Board the plans and policies concerning the management and investment of the Awqaf
(Endowments) assets.
4. Present to the Board a plan to manage and invest the assets of charity and perpetual Awqaf (Endowments)
which are supervised by the Authority and any other type of Awqaf that the Authority is entrusted to manage.
5. Coordinate with government and non-government bodies concerning setting up of projects that contribute to
realizing the requirements and aims of Awqaf (Endowments).
6. Present to the Board periodic reports concerning work progress at the Authority.
7. Propose draft rules and regulations relating to the objectives and powers of the Authority and present the
same to the Board.
8. Appoint the staff of the Authority in accordance with its personnel scheme.
9. Manage the finances of the Authority within the limitations prescribed by the Authority’s financial
10. Any other relevant powers entrusted to him under the law, rules and regulations, or decision issued by the
Board, and the Chairman may authorize the Director General to exercise some of his powers.
Article (16)
The Authority shall have a Director General in the grade of undersecretary who shall manage the Authority and
handle its affairs under the supervision of the Chairperson and assisted by Executive Directors, each of them in
the grade of assistant undersecretary.
The Director General shall, in particular, exercise the following functions:
1. Proposing policies and plans for the work of the Authority.
2. Implementing the resolutions and general policy set forth by the Board.
3. Supervising daily work at the Authority and issuing the necessary relevant directives.
4. Monitoring the Authority staff performance.
5. Periodically reporting to the Chairperson on the activities of the Authority departments and sections.
6. Proposing the formation of committees and submitting such proposals to the Chairperson.
7. Appointing the Authority staff as determined by the human resources system thereof.
8. Undertaking financial disposals within the limits of the Authority’s financial regulations.
9. Proposing the agenda for the Board of Directors.
Section (4): Financial Affairs of the Authority:
Article (17)
The Authority shall have an independent budget indicating in reality its financial position.
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Article (18)
The annual revenues of the Authority shall consist of:
1. The Authority’s allocations in the overall budget of the United Arab Emirates.
2. Grants assistance and donations given by other parties that the Board accepts without contravening with the
Authority’s objectives.
3. The Authority’s lawful share of the Awqaf (Endowments) revenues by virtue of its supervision of the same.
4. Other revenues levied by the Authority in return for the service it provides.
Article (19)
The Authority’s funds and endowment funds shall be managed pursuant to the financial and accounting rules
and regulations approved in the Authority, and such funds shall be excluded from the prior control provisions of
the Accounting Diwan on its activities.
The Authority shall be exempted from such taxes and fees imposed in the federal government or in the local
governments in the Emirates.
Article (20)
The financial year of the Authority shall be as from the first of January to the end of December, and the first
financial year shall be as from the effective date of this law to the end of December of the next year.
Article (21)
The Authority shall have one or more auditors to be appointed for one renewable year from among those
licensed to practice the auditor’s profession.
Article (22)
The auditors shall undertake auditing the Authority’s accounts and endowment accounts pursuant to the
recognized accounting principles.
Article (23)
The auditors shall submit a financial report about the financial position and closing accounts of the Authority
within three months following the end of the financial year.
Section (5): General and Final Provisions
Article (24)
Provisions of the Civil Service Law shall be applicable to all personnel of the Authority, to be effective up to
issuing their own personnel regulations by the Cabinet.
Article (25)
Such personnel of the Ministry as chosen by the Board shall move to the Authority by a decision from the
Minister with the same ranks and all rights and benefits, provided that their positions shall be adjusted pursuant
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to provisions of the Authority’s personnel affairs regulations without prejudice to such salaries, allowances and
fees they receive.
Article (26)
The cabinet shall issue the rules, regulations and decisions that are necessary to execute the provisions of this
Article (27)
Every provision contradicting or inconsistent with the provisions of this law shall be removed.
Article (28)
The competent Ministers and authorities shall enforce provisions of this Law.
Article (29)
This law shall be published in the official gazette, and shall be effective as from the date of its publication.
[Signed] Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
President of the United Arab Emirates
Issued by us in the Presidency Palace in Abu Dhabi,
On: 22 Shaban 1420 H.
Corresponding to: 30 November 1999.
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