– H.E. Al Mansoori: We are developing a more systematic CSR methodology through incentives, monitoring, and measurement indicators
– H.E. Buamim: Positive impact of CSR policies and strategies could be maximised if organisations align their efforts
Dubai, UAE: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently hosted its annual Dubai Dialogue conference at its premises which focused on the UAE’s Year of Giving and highlighted the important role that public-private partnerships can play in achieving the objectives of the national initiative.
The event, organised by the Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business, was attended by 150 delegates, including H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the UAE, H.E. Mohammed Alshehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy, and H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, as well as various stakeholders from the UAE’s public and private sectors.
The National Strategy for the Year of Giving comprises over 1,000 initiatives and programmes which cover six main themes, namely corporate social responsibility (CSR), volunteerism, the developmental role of humanitarian organisations, legislative systems and government policies, media, and serving the nation.
In his keynote speech, H.E. Al Mansoori said: “Organising this year’s conference is particularly important in light of the UAE’s move to declare 2017 as the ‘Year of Giving’. The wise leadership is taking a number of relevant steps to develop an integrated framework aimed at spreading the initiative’s principles and encouraging active participation of the government and private sectors at the institutional and individual levels.”
The UAE’s Minister of Economy noted that the government is keen on building a more systematic CSR methodology by offering incentives and monitoring, and putting key indicators into place that measure the initiatives’ progress and their benefit to society.
H.E. Al Mansoori spoke about the UAE Ministry of Economy’s new initiatives developed to encourage private companies and institutions to actively implement relevant CSR programmes which will be launched in partnership with federal and local government authorities.
H.E. Buamim explained that there has been a great deal of progress in recent years on the part of the private sector in adopting and implementing CSR strategies. However, he noted that the positive impact of such policies and strategies could be maximised if organisations align their efforts.
Dubai Chamber’s President and CEO said that forming a united vision for CSR and sustainability in the UAE is one of the main objectives of the Dubai Dialogue conference as it enables organisations to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices in this field.
“Corporate social responsibility is at the core of the Year of Giving strategy, which comprises many initiatives that will have a direct and significant impact on the UAE’s business community and society at large,” added H.E. Buamim.
For his part, H.E. Al Shehhi gave an overview of the ministry’s new initiatives and explained that their objective is to raise awareness about CSR values and establish sustainable partnerships between the public and private sectors.
These initiatives include the CSR Smart Platform, National CSR Statistics, National CSR Index, Annual Celebration of CSR Results, CSR Label, CSR Passport, Financial Privileges to CSR Excelling Companies, CSR Mandatory Disclosure, Responsible Procurement, CSR Forums, and CSR Committees.
H.E. Al Shehhi invited businesses to participate in the annual conference on social responsibility, which will be organised by the ministry this week and offer more details on the planned CSR initiatives.
Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber, highlighted the Centre for Responsible Business’ efforts to foster a culture of CSR and volunteerism within Dubai’s business community. He revealed that the Engage Dubai corporate volunteering programme launched more than 900 initiatives benefitting more than 170,000 people.
Dr. Rettab added that the Chamber’s Sustainability Network has grown to include 60 taskforces tackling over 80 CSR themes, while it has also organised around 600 awareness, counselling and training programmes, and published 60 CSR research reports.
The conference was led by executives and CSR champions and members of Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network and Engage Dubai, which included representatives from CHEP Middle East, Farnek Services LLC, Dulsco, EMPOWER, Friends of Cancer Patients, Al Ahli Holding Group, Tristar Transport, Blue LLC, UAE Exchange, and Goumbook.
During the event, company representatives and community partners shared their experiences and spoke about how they are leading CSR taskforces specialising in tackling key CSR issues such as waste management, sustainable supply chain, employee health, Emiratisation, community empowerment in education, road safety, and food waste. They identified concrete solutions, guidelines, and tools that can be used to address the issues and make a positive contribution to society.
The Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network serves as the focal point for the business community to share and exchange best practices in implementing CSR strategies. This network offers companies the opportunity to network, share experiences and constitute CSR leadership. The network also aims to raise awareness, build capacity, promote and support the development and implementation of CSR and sustainability-related initiatives in the emirate.
Established in 2004, Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business aims to instil a culture of responsible business in the UAE. The Centre assists members with applying responsible business practices that enhance their performance and competitiveness. It also provides research, training and events related to corporate social responsibility that support Dubai’s transition to a green economy.