The World Health Organization (WHO) releases regular statistics about blindness and eye diseases at a global scale. According to this data, the number of affected people rises at an alarming rate every year. In fact, one person in the world goes blind every 5 seconds.
In response to these alarming statistics, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai launched the "Noor Dubai Initiative" on September 3, 2008. Noor Dubai started as an international charitable initiative for the prevention and treatment of blindness and low vision.
"This is an ambitious initiative which aims to deliver preventive eye care to over 1 million people as part of its drive to realize its vision of a world free from curable forms of blindness. Noor Dubai is our latest effort demonstrating Dubai’s continued commitment to being a responsible global citizen and to helping our less fortunate brethren."
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of the UAE & Ruler of Dubai
Noor Dubai was launched with the vision of a world free from avoidable causes of blindness. It provides therapeutic, preventative and educational programs to treat and prevent blindness and visual impairment in developing countries on a regional and international scale.
Following the success achieved of reaching out to over 5.8 million individuals worldwide in its first year, a decree was passed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launching the Noor Dubai Foundation a non-governmental, non-for-profit organization, aiming to eliminate all forms of preventable blindness globally.
Corporate Governance & Strategic Direction
Noor Dubai Foundation is a charitable, humanitarian non-governmental organization specializing in philanthropic work. The Foundation is active both in its home Emirate of Dubai and abroad in accordance to the Foundation's law of establishment (Law 18, Year 2010, Dated August 31st, that was issued by the Office of His Highness The Ruler of Dubai)
Noor Dubai Foundation is an independent entity. This includes all financial, administrative and organizational operations. In accordance with the law, the Foundation is fully entitled to ownership and operation using any/all funds assigned to it.
Its 5 member Board is appointed by the Founder of Noor Dubai Foundation, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, by a legal statute. The board nominates the Chief Executive Officer who is responsible for the operation of the five units of account and finance; marketing and corporate communication; quality and excellence; research and innovation as well as program management. Currently, Noor Dubai consists of 7 staff members excluding the board.
In 2017, the Foundation was awarded 3 ISO certifications including: ISO 9001 : 2015- Quality Management Systems, ISO 22301:2012 - Business Continuity and ISO 26000- Social Responsibility, becoming one of the first specialized charities to receive 3 ISO certificates in the MENA region.
Alignment with 2030 UN SDG Goals
Our Guiding Principles
Noor Dubai Foundation envisions a world where all individuals living in low income regions and suffering from visual disabilities have access to eye healthcare and are given equal and fair opportunities of treatment that will improve their quality of life.
Facts & Figures
How prevalent is visual impairment?
The latest worldwide estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) state that over 285 million people are visually impaired. Of those, 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision.
Based on the latest estimates, a child goes blind every minute and an adult every 5 seconds.
Facts & Figures:
- Visual impairment is unequally distributed across countries, age groups and genders.
- More than 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries.
- Over 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.
- Although 82% of blind people are over the age of 50, there is prevalence of childhood blindness as well.
- Over 1.4 Million individuals below the age of 15 are currently blind.
- Vitamin A Deficiency is a prevalent cause of preventable blindness in children, with an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 children annually becoming blind due to this nutritional deficiency.
- In every developing country and at all ages, females are at a significantly higher risk of being visually impaired than men. 64% of the total number of blind people globally are women
Awards and Recognition
- Success for Phase I of the Initiative – Appreciation
- Achievement in Prevention of Blindness Award – EOC 2008
- Appreciation Award for the Noor Dubai Team by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai and Founder of Noor Dubai at the Prime Minister Office.
- Certificate of Appreciation for Work in the Prevention of Blindness – EOC 2010
- OCFA - UAE Foreign Aid – 2009 Awards Ceremony
- Appreciation for Contribution – DIHAD 2011
- Appreciation from Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein Cultural & Islamic Centres – Family Gathering 2011
- Appreciation for Contribution – DIHAD 2012
- Noor Dubai wins the Watani Award, ‘Imprint of Hope’ category
- Noor Dubai Foundation is recipient of the Volunteers Award in Humanitarian Medical Sciences
- Noor Dubai Foundation is awarded first place for the best government collaboration project in the Dubai Government Excellence Program
- Appreciation for Contribution – DIHAD 2016
- Appreciation for Contribution – DIHAD 2016
- MOFAIC - UAE Foreign Aid – 2018 Awards Ceremony
- Appreciation for Contribution – DIHAD 2016
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
IAPB is an alliance of over 150 members and membership bodies with the mission of achieving universal access to eye health through collaboration to maximize eye health care coverage at global and country level as well as promoting knowledge and awareness of the eye health sector. It was set up since 1975 with a vision of a world in which everyone has access to the best possible standard of eye health; where no one is needlessly visually impaired; and where those with irreparable vision loss achieve their full potential. Members of the IAPB include; NGOs, charitable eye hospitals, universities, research centers and training institutions from all over the world.
In 1999, IAPB with the World Health Organization (WHO) launched VISION 2020: The Right to Sight -a global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness. It sought to promote “A world in which nobody is needlessly visually impaired, where those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential.”
For more information about the IAPB please visit https://www.iapb.org/
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI)
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives is a foundation that was inaugurated on October 4, 2015 to create hope in the region and support human development. It encompasses 28 humanitarian institutions and initiatives that will implement 1,400 human development programs in more than 116 countries around the world. As the Middle East’s largest development and community foundation, the development programs and initiatives are targeting to help 130 million individuals in need by 2025, including the prevention and treatment of 30 million people from blindness and eye diseases which will be led by Noor Dubai Foundation.
For more information about the MBRGI please visit http://www.almaktouminitiatives.org/en/about
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network (NNN)
The Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network (NNN) established in 2009, is a global forum for NGOs to contribute to the global control, elimination, and management of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). NTDs are a group of treatable and preventable diseases that continue to affect over one billion of the world's most impoverished, marginalized people living in remote communities. The NTDs include onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths, trachoma. These Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) share common control strategies including community-based health interventions that can be integrated to strengthen health care systems.
Non-governmental organizations play a key role in the fight against these diseases. Thus the NGO network has a Vision of a world free of NTDs, with a purpose of enhancing the contribution of NGOs towards that vision. The network currently has over 70 members across the globe.
For more information about the NNN, please visit http://www.ntd-ngonetwork.org/
International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC)
The International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) is a highly committed and professional multi-stakeholder membership of non‐governmental, donor, private sector and academic organizations working together to support the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020 Alliance). It currently has 48 members and observers that include the World Health Organization (WHO), pharmaceutical and other private sector stakeholders, and institutional & philanthropic funders.
The coalition’s approach is aligned with the GET2020 Alliance's 2016 plan of action Eliminating trachoma: Accelerating Towards 2020, which outlines what needs to be done to scale up programs and strengthen health systems to achieve the global elimination of trachoma by the year 2020.
For more information about the ICTC please visit http://www.trachomacoalition.org/