(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) in Dubai, with investments exceeding Dh778 million over the last seven years, has established a new body to offer financial services to Awqaf entities around the world.
Tayeb Al Rais, Secretary General - AMAF, made the announcement on Wednesday morning while launching the Foundation's Strategic Plan for 2013-2016 during an award ceremony for honouring partners and industry leaders.
"As one of the early outcomes of their new strategy for the next five years, the Foundation recently launched 'Noor Awqaf' in cooperation with the Noor Investment Group."
Adding, they said the Noor Awqaf will also provide due diligence, financial analysis and assistance in the creation and implementation of strategic objectives for AMAF and other similar entities around the world.
Elaborating, Al Rais said the halal industry, valued at 2.1 trillion globally, is one of the Islamic sectors targeted by the Noor Awqaf, with initial capital worth Dh10 million. The firm will benefit from all animal remains and products in Awqaf projects.
"The Noor Awqaf is to build a business model to position Dubai as a halal centre that facilitates and adds value to the globally expanding market force - in food, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, additives, ingredients, relief, halal industries, real estate, as well as lifestyle and services sectors."
Talking to Khaleej Times, Al Rais said while the Foundation's Awqaf investments hit Dh778,324,566 between 2005 and 2007, the revenues grew from Dh68,931 in 2009 to Dh78,407 in 2012: "Also our assets jumped from Dh1.130 billion in 2010 to Dh1.583 billion in 2012, a Dh453 million rise."
Al Rais added that the Foundation is gearing up to launch 20 initiatives in the coming four years covering five main aspects: education, health, social care and general charity projects.
"These include three drives in 2013: the Green Mosque at the Clock Roundabout to be completed by the end of this year costing Dh25 million, and the Adahi (Sacrifice) project, apart from the Family Village for orphans and abandoned children which is to be opened by the end of 2014."
The Family Village, costing Dh150 million, is a big residential compound at the Warqa 3 area, and will have 16 villas, each with five rooms and several other facilities. Most importantly, each villa will have a mother and aunt. "The Foundation is currently sponsoring 2,614 orphans, 2,575 minors, and 143 mentally incapacitated people," Al Rais said.
Khaled Al Thani, Deputy Secretary General - AMAF, said the new strategic plan spans the protection and development of financial assets of endowments and improving the level of services provided: "The Foundation will seek to ensure the sustainable development of financial institutions through preparing financial plans and establishing long-term cooperation with government institutions domestically and internationally."
Al Thani said in 2012, the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai generated operating revenues of about Dh162.74 million, up from Dh146 million in 2011: "In addition to registering Dh114.6 million in rental income from Awqaf assets at the end of 2012, the Foundation gained total revenues of Dh78.4 million from endowments."
"Meanwhile, the expenses of allocated endowments accounts totalled close to Dh25 million, which is the equivalent to 97 per cent of the main Foundation's endowment accounts," he added.
By Ahmed Shaaban