Dubai sheikh pledges £900m to philanthropic causes

LONDON, U K ( - The ruler of Dubai has pledged $1.3bn (£900m) in assets to a new endowment agency that will focus on a variety of causes, the latest philanthropic effort bearing his name.

Emirati officials announced the creation of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy on Tuesday, during a flashy ceremony in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Dubai’s financial district.

They said it would focus on issues such as autism and education, though they did not offer specific details on funding for the centre.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai’s hereditary leader, attended the announcement but did not speak. His Twitter account announced that he offered the $1.3bn in assets to the cause.

Other tweets on his account described the initiative as being a form of awqaf, an Arabic term for a kind of religious Islamic foundation. During the presentation, officials said other Emirati companies had donated money, goods or their time to the effort, without offering specifics.

The main photograph accompanying this article was changed on 23 March 2016. Previously, it had mistakenly been of the crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum.