City outlets open during the Holy Month - but always call ahead to check
Animal Sanctuary & Petting Farm Rescued animals start new lives here. The sanctuary organises open days for school parties as well as the chance to adopt animals as varied as dogs, ponies and sloths. Take the E611 to Sharjah/Ajman. Take exit 84 towards Dhaid. The farm is 4km on the right (050 273 0973).
Dubai Animal Rescue Centre A sanctuary dedicated to the rescue and care of animals including exotics, birds, tortoises, rodents and more. Others, www.darcuae.com (050 858 7844).
Dubai Pug Club A local social and support club for pugs and their owners. www.dubaipugclub.com (no number). Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project This collaboration between the Wildlife Protection Office and Jumeirah’s Aquarium team provides support to Al Wasl Vet Clinic. firstname.lastname@example.org (04 301 7198).
Feline Friends Rescues and re-houses abandoned cats. There are frequent book sales to raise funds, and the organisation is always looking for people to adopt cats. There is no central shelter – cats are temporarily fostered by volunteers. Locations across town, www.felinefriends dubai.com (050 451 0058).
Holy Trinity Thrift Store Sells second-hand clothes, toys, books, DVDs, videos and more. In Holy Trinity Church Compound, Oud Metha (04 337 4947).
Smiles N' Stuff A store selling mugs, T-shirts, bags and crafts made by students from Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs. Al Noor students also work in the shop. Open Sun-Thu 9am-4pm. Barsha (04 340 4844).
Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs Helps children with special needs via education programmes and integrating them into society. Donations welcome. PO Box 8397, Barsha, www.alnoorspneeds.ae (04 340 4844).
Children's Hope Foundation Raises money for children’s charities around the world, providing medical, learning and leisure equipment. Humanitarian City, www.chfdubai.org (04 511 1905).
Citizens' Foundation The Citizens’ Foundation promotes education at primary and secondary levels in Pakistan. Humanitarian City, www.thecitizens foundation.org (050 708 4724).
Dubai Autism Centre A not-for-profit organisation offering education and therapy to children with autism. Villa 20, Al Mina Road, Satwa, www.dubaiautismcenter.ae (04 398 6862).
Dubai Centre for Special Needs This non-profit group provides education and training to disabled children. 45th Street, Jumeirah, www.dcsneeds.ae (04 344 0966).
Make-A-Wish Foundation UAE A non-profit organisation that grants one wish to UAE children aged three to 18 who have life-threatening illnesses. Humanitarian City, www.makeawish.ae (04 368 0217).
Palestine Children’s Relief Fund The organistion locates free medical care for children in the Middle East region who do not have access to specialised treatment. www.pcrf.net (050 559 5804).
Rashid Pediatric Therapy Centre Centre that helps children with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and impaired hearing. Umm Suqeim Road, Barsha, www.rashidc.ae (04 340 0005).
Senses Residential Care Home for Children with Special Needs A non-profit residential centre that cares for children with special needs and their families. 26B Street, off Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (04 394 8765). START Reaching out to children in need through art. Holds regular Tuesday activities. For info, contact email@example.com. Al Doha Street, Business Bay, www.startworld.org (04 323 3434).
UNICEF Supports child health in more than 150 countries and territories worldwide. Al Doha Street, Business Bay, www.unicef.org (04 368 0702).
Special Need Families Support Centre Building a community for special needs families. Also provides education to children and occupational and vocational training to young adults who have special needs. Karama Centre, www.snfgroup.com (04 334 9818, 04 337 6759).
Stepping Stones Treats children with autism and other developmental disorders. Dubai Healthcare City, Oud Metha, www.steppingstonesca.com (04 363 5433).
Donating clothes and household goods
Aid in Motion This charity distributes second-hand clothing to those in need. Call the 24-hour hotline to donate. For more info, visit the Aid in Motion Facebook page. www.volunteerindubai.com (06 503 4535).
TakeMyJunk Collects unwanted items, from furniture to clothing, then sells them at low cost to those in need. Proceeds provide help for labourers and the needy. Pick-up available. Drop-off point: Pastels Hair Salon, 873 Al Wasl Road, www.take myjunkuae.com (050 179 4045).
Emirates Environmental Group EEG protects the environment through education. The Can Collection Campaign, one of its top projects, runs from September to May, along with tree-planting and regular lectures. Jumeirah Beach Road, www.eeg-uae.org (04 344 8622).
Emirates Marine Environmental Group The only organisation in the UAE dedicated to the marine environment, EMEG cleans beaches and harbours and conserve marine life. Also offers free education days. Ghantoot, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.emeg.ae (04 363 0582).
The Green Foundation Raises funds for charity by recycling electrical equipment. Jumeirah Centre, www.thegreenfoundation.me (04 344 3160).
World Wide Fund for Nature In association with Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), the WWF is involved with conservation projects in the UAE. EWS-WWF is also raising awareness of environmental issues. Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz, www.ewswwf.ae (04 354 9776).
Fundraising & volunteering
ACTED An apolitical relief agency that’s active in 24 countries worldwide. International Humanitarian City, Business Bay, www.acted.org (04 422 0808).
All As One An international charity and non-governmental organisation that aims to build a better future for children who are the victims of a long civil war. Sheikh Zayed Road, www.aaodubai.org (04 311 6578).
Dubai Cares Aims to improve access to education for children in developing nations through various fundraising initiatives. Fourth floor, Building 16, Dubai Healthcare City, www.dubaicares.ae (04 450 4550). Dubai St George’s Society Raises money for charities such as Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai and Dubai Autism Centre. www.dsgs.org, (no number).
Friends of Cancer Patients This charity raises money, organises awareness campaigns and supports cancer patients and their families. Corniche Road, Sharjah, www.focp-uae.org (06 506 5542).
Gulf for Good A charity that raises funds for orphanages and hospitals across the region through challenging outdoor activities such as trekking to Everest Base Camp. Al Khail Road, Humanitarian City, www.gulf4good.org (04 368 0222).
Mission to Seafarers This charity raises money to fund support boat The Flying Angel, which offers counselling and facilities for isolated seafarers off the coast of Fujairah. The group is also looking for volunteers on the Fujairah anchorage. Sun-Thu 9am-5pm, Office 211, Al Nasr Plaza, www.angelappeal.com (04 357 6060).
Médecins Sans Frontières MSF is a private, non-profit organisation that provides emergency medical aid across the globe. Suite 808, Al Shafar Tower, TECOM, www.msf-me.org (04 457 9255).
Red Crescent Society Provides sponsorship for orphans, as well as medical and educational assistance and aid. Abu Dhabi, www.ifrc.org (02 641 9000).
The Dhaka Project Raises money to help slum children in Bangladesh. Every Friday there is a garage sale at the French Connection building from 9.30am-12.30pm. 4th Floor, French Connection building, next to the Shangri La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (050 418 3270).
Tukutana Foundation A non-profit organisation that helps orphaned children internationally by providing clothing, education, food and shelter. www.tukutana.org (050 187 6434, 050 878 6652).
Volunteer in Dubai Helps volunteers to find a suitable cause. It’s involved in programmes such as Braille for the Blind and Aid in Motion. www.volunteerindubai.com (04 452 1106).
Alliance Française This non-profit centre’s French language courses are Dhs1,400 for seven weeks. Open Sun-Thu 9am-1pm, 4pm-8pm; Sat 9am-1pm. Ramadan hours to be confirmed. Opposite American Hospital, Umm Hurair, www.afdubai.com (04 335 8712).
Arabic Language Centre Offers group, private and in-house Arabic courses. Open Sun-Thu 9am-6pm, World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.dubailanguages.com (04 331 5600).
Berlitz Language Centre Provides language tuition catering specifically to the Arabic region. Open Sun-Thu 8am-9pm, Villa 55, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah, www.berlitz.ae (04 344 0034).
Dar El Ilm Arabic for children and foreign languages for both children and adults, including English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. Open Sun-Wed 9am-6pm; Thu and Sat 9am-2pm, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.dubailanguages.com (04 331 0221).
Dubai International Art Centre A selection of language lessons in Arabic and Spanish. Open Sat-Wed 9am-4pm, Villa 27, Street 75b, near Town Centre, Jumeirah (04 344 4398).
Eton Institute Offers more than 100 language courses and workshops in cultural sensitivity. Al Sufouh Road, Knowledge Village, www.eton.ac (04 360 2955).
Expressions Arabia Holds courses in business English or Arabic, as well as vocational courses. Open Sat-Thu 9am-7pm, Al Zarouni Business Centre, opp Wellington School, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.expressionsarabia.com (04 709 4229).
Goethe Institut German lessons for beginners and beyond. Open Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, PO Box 62448, Bur Dubai, www.goethe.de/dubai (04 325 9865).
The English Club Offers private adult lessons and children’s courses at Dubai Marina and Mall of the Emirates. firstname.lastname@example.org (055 889 6025).
Emirates Arthritis Foundation A local resource for arthritis patients, providing help and support. Al Biraa Arthritis Centre, Villa 1029, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, www.arthritis.ae (04 348 7035).
Social & support groups
Backstage Dubai A friendly, non-profit local drama group with more than 400 members, offering regular performances and workshops. New members are always welcome. www.twitter.com/backstage_dubai (050 452 4793).
Dubai Coffee Meet-up Group Meetings tend to take place at new coffee joints around Dubai, and they’ve even had a professional barista teach them how to prepare the perfect espresso. www.coffee.meetup.com/520 (no number).
Dubai International Women’s Club Established more than 40 years ago and offering friendship to ladies of every nationality. Join for monthly coffee mornings and social trips. email@example.com (04 344 2389).
Dubai Ladies Club In this club’s tranquil surroundings, women can expand their circle of friends or network with potential business contacts. Alongside an arts centre, the club also offers a range of lectures and activities. www.dubailadiesclub.com (04 349 9922).
Dubai Natural History Group If you’re into your flora and fauna and want to meet like-minded types, why not join this group of environment fans? firstname.lastname@example.org (04 282 3952).
Dubai Outdoors Club If you like a bit of adventure, this is definitely the group to join. This lot like pitching tents, scrambling over rocks and all sorts of other energetic outdoor activities. www.socialcirclesuae.com (no number).
Dubai: New in Town Newcomers unite to get a feel for the city, from checking out the nightlife to desert drumming. The group also organises small-scale events for the very new and overwhelmed. www.meetup.com/dubai-new-in-town (no number).
HaHaHabibi A dynamic social group that meets every week to help members shed their inhibitions and practise improvisational comedy. Open Sat 5pm-7pm, South Ridge Tower 3, Downtown Burj Khalifa, email@example.com.
Ladies Group Organising girly outings, from a night down the pub to trips aboard the Dubai Metro. www.socialcirclesuae.com (no number).
Shisha Without Frontiers These hubbly bubbly lovers boldly go wherever there is shisha, gathering to relax, chat and puff the night away. www.socialcirclesuae.com (no number).
Social Circles Use this networking site to plug into Dubai’s social scene online before hitting the town. It organises everything from bowling to en-masse painting sessions. www.socialcirclesuae.com (no number).
South African Women's Association SAWA is dedicated to bringing together South African women in Dubai through a selection of networking and social events. (055 323 7913).
UAE Movie Buffs Connect with other film fanatics in this online forum, which features regular movie discussions. Members also arrange occasional film screenings and cinema trips. www.meetup.com/UAE-Movie-Buffs (no number).
Dubai Foundation for Women and Children The first licensed non-profit shelter for victims of abuse and trafficking. www.dfwac.ae (04 606 0300).