Dubai, UAE Humanitarianism is a well-established public policy in the United Arab Emirates, making it one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in the world. Improving the lives of less fortunate communities is one of the main objectives of the UAE’s foreign aid policy. The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) is a key addition to the UAE’s humanitarian efforts. This shows that the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a pioneer of humanitarianism, is still alive today. Our wise leadership follows the same path in the service of humanity.

Over 9 million beneficiaries from Suqia’s projects

Suqia continues its efforts in providing safe drinking water to communities suffering from water scarcity and pollution, in cooperation with the relevant local and international organisations. By the end of 2018, Suqia’s projects had helped over 9 million people in 34 countries.

Humanitarian work in the footsteps of Zayed

“The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace, established the principles of humanitarianism in the UAE as a way of life, a civilised habit, and a value instilled in social and organisational cultures. Charitable and humanitarian work in the UAE has been institutionalised and is based on integrated plans, programmes, and systems for making donations. Observing Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is particularly relevant in the Year of Tolerance, which is an extension to the Year of Zayed 2018, as it carries the values instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed who extended his helping hand to the needy anywhere in the world, alleviating the suffering of people wherever they are; regardless of nationality, race, colour, or religion. These are the principles that are followed by the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. All Suqia’s humanitarian, social, and voluntary initiatives and programmes reflect the worthy values and principles instilled in the hearts of Emiratis by our Founding Fathers in the UAE,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Suqia.

“Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is one of the most important milestones in the UAE’s annual agenda. On this day, we are reminded by the achievements and accomplishments of the pioneer of humanitarian work, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose quality initiatives contributed to improving the lives of millions of people around the world. His name is associated with giving and generosity in recognition of his achievements and contribution to all humankind,” said Mohammed Abdulkareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of Suqia.

The launch of Suqia

In March 2015, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued Law Number 3 for 2015, establishing Suqia’s legal status as a non-profit organisation. The law set the objectives for Suqia, which include strengthening the UAE’s position globally in the pursuit of initiatives and humanitarian aid to the underprivileged and distressed around the world. Its objectives are to achieve sustainable development, support the role of humanitarian organisations in the country and strengthen their capabilities to help with emergency humanitarian development. It also helps with and international efforts to provide safe and clean water and tackle potentially fatal water-borne diseases. Suqia also aims to contribute to finding sustainable solution solutions for global water scarcity and pollution through studies, research, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award, to develop innovative solutions that use solar power to provide clean water.

Suqia supports sustainable development

Water is at the heart of economic and social development, and its security is a global challenge because of increasing population and economic growth. Water scarcity affects over 40% of the world’s population. Drinking water is one of the main foundations for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, with the sixth goal being to, ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all.’ According to the United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 titled ‘Leaving no one behind,’ 3 out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water, and over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress, and about 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. Stress levels will continue to increase as demand for water grows and the effects of climate change intensify. Water-related diseases remain among the major causes of death in children under five; more than 800 children die every day from diseases linked to poor hygiene.

This affirms Suqia’s important role in providing safe and clean water to communities suffering from water scarcity and pollution, in cooperation with the concerned organisations locally and globally. This will help the UAE improve the lives of millions of people around the world and result in positive global changes.

Pioneering initiatives during the Year of Zayed

During the Year of Zayed 2018, Suqia launched 6 local and international initiatives inspired by the ideas and vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. These were based on a well-thought-out strategy that focuses on sustainability, preserving the environment and its natural resources, and assisting people. Suqia’s initiatives included the ‘100 Volunteers’, ‘100 Letters to Zayed’, ‘100 Water Projects’, ‘100 Water Endowments’, ‘International Initiatives’ and Suqia Zayed, which expanded internationally, in cooperation with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRHCE) to reach 13 countries: Uganda, Tajikistan, Chad, Egypt, Brazil, Canada, USA, Palestine, the Philippines, Tunisia, Jordan, Ukraine, and Bangladesh. This year, Suqia is organising a number of international voluntary initiatives in cooperation with MBRHCE to implement sustainable projects as well as managing last year’s implemented projects.

Local and international initiatives during the Holy Month

Suqia has launched its annual Ramadan campaign to provide drinking water in mosques and Iftar tents throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan inside and outside the UAE. This, in cooperation with 14 local charities, benefits 4 million people. For the second consecutive year, Suqia’s Ramadan campaign spans different countries around the world. The objectives of this year’s Ramadan campaign are aligned with the 2019 Year of Tolerance in establishing the values of communication and co-existence in society, positioning the UAE as a global model for tolerance, especially as the campaign extends in 13 countries around the world in cooperation with MBRHCE. These countries include Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Benin, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Tajikistan, and the Philippines.

In addition to the distribution of drinking water, the Ramadan campaign highlights the drinking water crisis around the world and urges members of society to donate to provide clean water to the needy who spend their time searching for water instead of using it to fulfil their other needs, such as education, work, taking care of their families, and improving their living conditions.

2nd Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award

Suqia is accepting applications for the 2nd Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. The award was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage companies, research centres, individuals, and innovators around the world to find sustainable and innovative solutions using solar power to address the scarcity of potable water. This year’s award builds on the success of the first one in the Year of Giving in 2017, which recorded considerable participation and innovation by global research centres, institutions, and individuals. Suqia received 138 participants from 43 countries around the world. The award was received by 10 winners from 8 countries, emphasising the role of the UAE as a platform for innovation, a destination for innovators, and an incubator for creative minds from around the world.

Terms & conditions for applying are available on Suqia’s website ( ). The deadline for receiving the applications is 30 June 2019.

Award categories

The award has three main categories: Innovative Projects Award, Innovative Research & Development Award, and Innovative Individual Award, with prizes totalling USD 1 million.

The Innovative Projects Award targets government, semi-government, and non-government organisations. It has two categories: the Large Projects Award with total prizes worth USD 300,000, and the Small Projects Award with total prizes worth USD 240,000. The Innovative Research & Development Award targets individuals and teams from academic institutions and research centres that are independent or annexed to governmental or semi-government organisations. It has two categories: the National Institutions Award and the International Institutions Award with total prizes worth USD 200,000 each. The Innovative Individual Award has two categories: the Youth Award, which targets youth between the ages of 15 and 35 with a prize value of USD 20,000; and the Distinguished Researcher Award with a prize value of USD 40,000.

Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019

Suqia supported the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Suqia provided 38,000 water bottles to around 7,000 athletes in the world’s largest humanitarian sports event. The water bottles are provided to delegations during their commutes throughout the Olympics last March.


For more information, please contact:
Ribal Dayekh / Ahmed Albanna           
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority                               
+971 4 322 2405 / +971 55 22 67222                                                                                                                

Joumana El Tarabulsi / Antoine Boghos
+971 58 2221631 / +971 50 3310001

© Press Release 2019


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