kookie in dubai - tales in the desert city

Sunday, July 1


My colleague and I were talking about charities in Dubai and the lack of them.

I was telling her how I'd like to volunteer somewhere that actually has something to do with people. All of the charities that I know seem to be for animals, which is fine if you love feral cats and dogs that look nothing like Lassie. I don't mind them but would much prefer to have interaction with people.

She then told me that there are no orphanages within the UAE - not one. The understanding being that if a parent/parents died within a GCC family then the siblings of that person would take care of them. Its understood in Islam that family stays with family. No questions.

There's no discussion about custody, no visits to court and no chance for them to go to an adoption agency. The power and understanding of what constitutes a family here can't be underestimated.

But what if the family are from India? Philippines? Malaysia? I'm going to do some investigation work and will let you know.


  • Healthy orphans, yes. But there are hundreds - if not thousands - of children here with various disabilities, many of whom live in very deficient institutions with inexperienced and untrained staff. You know what they pay nurses here, what kind of specialist care could you possibly get only paying care staff a few hundred/couple of thousand dirhams a month?

    I have spoken to expats who have visited these places, trying to give the children some human contact and stimulation because otherwise they receive none/minimal. Consanguinity-related birth defects are off the scale here, though traditionally the problem is never discussed. As a result there are numerous children - and adults, of course - whose families can't or won't take care of them. Some possibly visit, some don't.

    So there are plenty of children "orphaned" by their disabilities.

    By Blogger secretdubai, at 3:36 am  

  • good luck with your search to find somewhere to volunteer.

    I'm in sort of a do-good mood myself, but I'm having a hard time finding exactly the right good thing to do. I don't want to help just anyone out.

    By Blogger Naomi, at 9:10 am  

  • Hallo Dubai Kookie,

    if it's not impolite to address a 32 year old Lady like this. I'm thrilled by the idea, that you want to engage in social charity projects.
    Here comes a suggestion. If you pool with some other women and manage to realize it, it will be a great success. It's a womens refuge. The first one on the Arab peninsula is founded in Sana by a female lawyer and it's full by women that flee ed from wife-beating and worser issues. There is a need for women refuges in any kind of society with no refer to culture, religion , social standard and education. In case of a bigger underclass population you only need more women refuges, who's locations has top be secret of course. At least it's for the public benefit, so that the project should be supported by state financially. Perhaps an idea for the future. Bye

    By Blogger russells@teapot, at 12:14 am  

  • I have just moved to Dubai and I have decided that it was high time I really did something about my desire to work with kids. Secretdubai mentioned about a place where they have institutionalised disabled kids. COuld you please be more specific about the contact info?

    Any thoughts on forming a Dubai group of "save the children". I am very interested.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:45 pm  

  • Hello, lol of course there are several orphanages here! Since I'm from Abu Dhabi there is one here in Abu Dhabi and there's one in Al Ain. If you did your research correctly you would have known that the UAE has several orphanages around the country. They are all paid for by the state with all the best of money, they get a public or private education and they even get to study university! Their weddings and future houses are also provided for them, with money in a bank as soon as they finish university/get married. Of course, they also get the UAE passports, some joke that orphans get better care than other locals do. You could ask about all this if you want, and call them up or visit them for more info! But LOL sorry I just had to laugh about a country not having an orphanage?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:21 am  

  • hi,
    I am 37, been married for 12 years. I am not blessed with kids of my own. I am looking for an oppertunity to spend my free time with orphens like me & share love and effection with them. can some one please help me to find an ophenage where I can atlease visit once a week.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:17 pm  

  • Hi Kookie, since this post was dated some six months ago I am just wondering if you had any luck with Orphanage visits?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 pm  

  • where r the orphanage in dubai?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 am  

  • Hi, I am glad to know that there is a chance to work with kids and I love to do it. I would like to spend my time with them and help them to learn and give my love to them. Please tell me where that I can get involve in? Thank you!

    By Blogger Elise, at 3:54 pm  

  • ive been looking for an orphanage in dubai,i might not enough time but i want to volunteer even once a week during my off to take care of this kids who have been unfortunate to be left alone by their parents but im sure people like u u have a heart to help will make a big difference, now im in home country having my vacation if u can give me the address of this orphanage i can visit and be a volunteer.u can email me at luvless_c_ako_81@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:42 am  

  • Al Ihsan Charitable Organization runs orphanages in Ajman. I also recommend you to visit Dubai Center for Special Needs and have a look at their state-of-the-art facilities which are much better than some of the mainstream schools. I have a website of my own and there is a section called "Helping You Help Others" & "Useful Links" and see how you could volunteer your skills: www.nabilausman.com

    By Blogger Nabila Usman, at 5:48 pm  

  • Hi everyone! I have been looking around for any details i can get for orphanages within Dubai. Most of the articles i have read around, have mentioned Al Ihsan Charitable Organization in Ajman. However, does anyone know about the presence of any in Dubai.
    I believ, 1 is Al Wasl Hospital.

    I would like to make a small contribution in my capacity with most sincere prayers as it is something very close to me. No disregard to Dubai Cares, but i feel it's become far too commercial and the centre of attraction, hence, i would like to contribute elsewhere.

    Please do let me know, if anyone of you have any information for me that you would like to share.


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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 pm  

  • I would like to work with them as well...actually I wanted to open an orphanage by myself in the future here in dubai.

    contact me if you have any details to it: karima_zis@hotmail.de

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    By Blogger jessie, at 11:57 am  

  • All if not all then most orphans in dubai are raised by the sheikhs if not claimed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 am  

  • A classmate and I, are working on getting some community service hours. We thought it would be amazing if we could help someone in need and get what is needed done at the same time. Is there any way we could contact anyone. We would like to raise money within our school and give them to houses where the money is actually needed. Please contact me.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:16 pm  

  • Hi! I know it's been six months since u posted this, but like the others, I'd like to know if you were any successful in locating orphanages in the UAE, especially Dubai, since my school, The Westminster School, is holding our annual fundraiser in January and we'd like to invite kids from an orphanage to come and enjoy the event (tickets and all sponsored by us). If anyone at all could help me in this regard, I would really appreciate it =D

    By Anonymous Bushra Ali, at 7:03 pm  

  • It would be nice to take part in these orphanage charity works. Since I don't have a job now, it would be difficult for me to contribute financially, but would be glad to help by caring and sitting with the poor young souls.

    By Anonymous momjjj, at 6:10 pm  

  • Locals have the perception that the state sends orphans to private schools and universities, gives them houses and money.

    There is also the recent claim by a Kuwati MP that orphans may be lawfully enslaved. This happens, it's Islamic and there is no shame in it.

    The truth is ever elusive.


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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:25 am  

  • I cannot seem to find an address for orphanages. Can you please help me. I would like to volunteer some time.

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