Published on: December 2015
Category: Social policy, Well-being and Happiness
The Noor Dubai Foundation (the foundation) is a non-governmental and not-for-profit international charity based in Dubai - one of the seven Emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) almost 80% of visual impairments are preventable or curable, and the foundation’s vision is, therefore, a world that is free of preventable forms of blindness. The foundation is committed to reviving the gift of sight, particularly for those living in low-income and developing countries where access to eye care and curative services is not easily available. The foundation started as an initiative launched in September 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in response to alarming statistics published by the WHO about the prevalence of blindness - every five seconds one person in the world goes blind:
“I am pleased to announce a personal initiative aimed towards easing the pain of millions in our region and our world, those who were hidden behind the sufferings of wars, conflicts and markets crisis and poverty.”
- Extract from Kemp, L.J., Moonesar, I.A. & Al Banna, S. (2011).
After the first year, when the initiative had successfully reached over 5.8 million visually impaired people across the world, a decree was passed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launching the Noor Dubai Foundation. The foundation recognises the devastating effect that visual impairment can have on people’s lives. By reviving sight, it therefore aims to empower adults and children by enabling them to pursue education and participate in gainful employment which in the long term can help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of individuals, their families and communities.