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His Excellency Tayeb Al-Rais, Secretary General of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation Selected President of AIO

Dubai-UAE: 17 October, 2016 – The Awqaf International Organization (AIO), a global entity mandated to unify local and international endowment efforts and instituted in line with the strategic plan of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop the Islamic economy sector, held its first organizational meeting in Dubai.

Launched on October 11 by Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) in collaboration with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, AIO aims to raise awareness of awqaf and highlight its traditional role of driving social and economic development. The new entity is expected to significantly strengthen Dubai's position as a global capital of Islamic economy.

At its inaugural meeting that drew the participation of 11 member institutions, His Excellency Tayeb Al-Rais, Secretary General of AMAF was selected President of the Awqaf International Organization.

Commencing with a welcome address by His Excellency Al-Rais, the session reiterated the importance of supporting the education sector in the upcoming period. The meeting also discussed the corporate identity and branding of the new organization. In addition, members agreed to meet regularly to accelerate the organization's efforts in activating programs to develop the waqf sector and ensure sustainability of all initiatives and projects. An international audit company will also be appointed to review the Awqaf International Organization's accounting practices.

In addition to AMAF, members of the Awqaf International Organization include: the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, the Department of Awqaf in Sharjah, National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (Awqaf SA), National Awqaf Foundation of Canada (Awqaf Canada), Awqaf New Zealand, Awqaf USA, Awqaf Australia, the Independent Committee of Islamic Finance in Europe, and Al Rajhi Endowment from Saudi Arabia.

The Awqaf International Organization was launched to advance awqaf traditions, strengthen the role of waqf in society, and execute best practices to manage and invest endowment funds and assets according to best-in-class sharia standards. Furthermore, the new entity will cooperate with member awqaf organizations and sharia-compliant banks and finance companies to ensure an active and real partnership. Likewise, it will engage and expand collaboration with the public and private sector with regard to establishing endowment projects.

The newly-established organization is also mandated to propose standards to organize the investment of awqaf assets, implement sharia standards in accountability and review processes, and adopt governance and transparency with regard to the financial and administrative practices of awqaf organizations. Furthermore, Awqaf International Organization will encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise, and host field visits to increase awareness on best practices in awqaf management, investment and development.  ​