Dubai Ruler Creates $1.3 Billion 'Endowment Consultancy'

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's hereditary leader, has pledged $1.3 billion in assets to a new entity that will focus on a variety of charitable causes, the Associated Press reports.

During a ceremony to announce the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Center for Endowment Consultancy, officials of the United Arab Emirates said the center would focus on a range of issues, including autism and education, but offered no specific details. Officials also noted that other Emirati companies had donated money, goods, and/or time to the effort. The Twitter account of Sheikh Mohammed — who serves as vice president and prime minister of UAE — later described the initiative as being a form of awqaf, an Arabic term for a kind of Islamic foundation or real estate entity that typically involves charity.

It is unclear, the AP reports, whether the new center is part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, under which many of Sheikh Mohammed’s existing charitable and human development initiatives were consolidated in 2015.

"We have opened the doors to endowments serving humanity with sustainable giving," the sheikh’s Twitter account proclaimed. "We encourage our business leaders to join in our effort.