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Sustainability-report-2015

Our Community

As an organisation, we were founded on the principle to add value to all our stakeholders and especially the community we operate in. Today, this founding value is made evident through a number of projects and processes, all of which are part of our continually evolving sustainability strategy.

We are extremely fortunate to be involved in a range of sustainability and CSR initiatives, such as encouraging youth entrepreneurship, promoting education and wellness, conserving UAE’s heritage and contributing to the development of our society. 

Please click on the tabs below to learn more about our performance in the respective areas.

  • Entrepreneurship

    We created the ‘Agent 055 Network’ programme, aimed to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option among university students. The project design was simple – provide students with first-hand experience of running a business within the safety net of an established business model. With a catchy ‘Earn while you learn’ tagline, we initiated an extensive outreach programme with various colleges and universities across the Emirates, inviting eligible students to apply for the initiative. Close to 300 students were then put through their paces via aptitude tests and personal interviews, with a final list of nine students being selected for the pilot phase of the project.

    For more details, please visit Agent 055 Network

  • Developing our society

    We continue to support various causes relevant in our community, either by engaging our passionate staff to volunteer in various events, donating our office equipment to deserving organisations or partnering with local organisations to encourage youth sports, engagement in the labour camps and more. We also actively contribute to social development campaigns initiated by the UAE Government.

    Supporting UAE-led campaigns
    Early in 2015, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched an appeal to provide urgent aid for refugees affected by a severe snowstorm in the Levant region. The campaign, aptly named ‘Tarahamu’ (‘Show Compassion’) received significant support from our colleagues who collectively donated AED 112,000.

    We also pledged AED 1 million towards the Red Crescent’s ‘Yemen: We Care’ fundraising campaign towards humanitarian relief efforts resulting from conflicts in the country.

    Further, we also supported H.H. Sheikh Hamdan’s Oral Hygiene Drive aimed at the blue-collar community in the UAE. As part of our commitment, we provided Alo prepaid SIMs and Hello international calling recharge cards amounting to AED 2,000 for each person in this community.

    Equipment Donation Policy
    In 2015, we introduced our Equipment Donation Policy, allowing us to donate all obsolete assets (from IT equipment to furniture and more) to registered charities. We consider this a positive step towards promoting a circular economy. Also, having a documented policy ensures compliance with our governance and audit requirements.

    Ahead of the policy sign-off, our team donated obsolete furniture to the National Charity School and a labour camp. If you know of any charity organisation that can benefit from used furniture or IT equipment, please let us know and we’ll be glad to help out if we can.

    du Football Champions
    du Football Champions, featuring the UAE Schools Cup and Streets Cups, is the home of youth football in the UAE, offering a professional scouting platform to develop the male and female football champions of tomorrow. Partnering with LaLiga the championship is open to boys and girls aged 11 - 18 from across the UAE.

    The Championship will be played to world-class standards, attracting the largest number of football enthusiasts in the UAE by enabling them to participate either through their school, or together with their friends. du Football Champions will provide the most talented female participants a unique opportunity to train in the US. For more details, please visit https://dufc.ae/

    Sowing seeds for the future
    On National Environment Day 2015, we planted 1,822 Ghaf seedlings (one for each our full-time employees at the time). With the voluntary support of our staff members, these were planted during the year at a plant nursery in Dubai. We expect that once these seedlings reach replanting size, we will move them to our office space and other public areas.

  • Volunteering

    2015 marked the first full year of our official corporate volunteering policy, allowing all our staff one paid working day to contribute towards community initiatives. In 2015, 315 members of our staff contributed over 2,400 hours towards volunteering activities. Further, our Ramadan project ‘Mawaed Al Rahman’, engaged 933 UAE residents who collectively contributed over 3,100 hours. Thus, in total, we engaged with 1,296 volunteers who contributed over 5,500 volunteer hours. 

    In addition, we introduced a question in our Gallup Employee Engagement survey to assess the contribution of volunteering towards employee satisfaction during the year. The question received a rating of 4.4 on a scale of 5, thus proving that volunteering does in fact add to overall staff satisfaction and engagement.

  • Technology for good

    We joined hands with Flagship Projects and the Dubai Autism Centre to promote BabNoor, the UAE’s first Arabic language cloud-based application to aid communication for children with autism and other hearing and speech disabilities. BabNoor is intended to complement and eventually replace the traditional physical, visual and pictorial reference cards for children with special needs, and has been culturally adapted to the needs of Arabic speakers around the region.

    As part of the first phase of the BabNoor project, we distributed 390 tablets equipped with the BabNoor app to for various autism centres across the UAE. The second phase will distribute a further 2,200 BabNoor app licenses to more autism centres in the UAE. The project also heavily focuses on teacher and parent training to use the app effectively at school and home.

    For more details, please visit Babnoor

  • UAE’s heritage and culture

    Culture will not exist without its people and traditions, and we are dedicated to giving back to the community that we serve by upholding valued practices. Our most prized community-related programmes are those organised during Ramadan, when we distribute iftar meals and Eid gifts to hundreds of thousands of underprivileged people. For UAE National Day, we keep patriotic sentiment alive by having fun-filled competitions that encourage our staff members, customers and the general public to actively participate in the country’s festivities.

    National Day
    We ended 2015 with a phenomenal National Day campaign — with the tagline #UAEisHome — showcasing the unity, togetherness, and harmonious community feeling that every UAE resident experiences. The concept involved the setting up of prominent blue doors across the Emirates, inspired by the opportunities that the UAE has provided (“by opening doors”) to the millions of expatriates, who are now proud and happy to call this country their home.
    Visitors who opened the doors were greeted by interactive screens with engaging audio -visual culture-based activities, and won prizes for participating in activities showcasing their familiarity with the UAE. This was a way for citizens and residents alike to celebrate the UAE’s traditions and culture in a contemporary format, in situations where they least expected it. Cameras recorded the joy and surprise of participants who opened the doors which we released in the form of a video ahead of National Day.

    Hag Al Leilah
    In celebration of Hag El Laila, and to raise awareness of the UAE’s traditions, we released a new commercial in 2014 that brought to light the customs practiced at this time of year. Hag El Laila, meaning “for this night”, is an annual occasion that is celebrated to mark the arrival of the Holy Month of Ramadan. As an Emirati company, we are committed to preserving the traditions of the UAE and spreading awareness of our customs among the diverse nationalities that reside within our community.

  • Ramadan

    Our Ramadan ‘Mawaed Al Rahman’ (meal distribution) initiative continues to be our prominent community engagement effort of the year. In 2016, we distributed more than 12,000 boxes filled with essential Ramadan food items.

    We enlisted the assistance of Tarahum Charity Foundation to help us in our mission, and to help us identify areas and families who would benefit most. The distribution took us to far-reaching areas of the UAE, including communities residing near the Oman border and across the Northern Emirates.

    A total of 169 of our staff members along with 853 community members, including popular social media influencers and corporate groups, helped us achieve our target and make this a truly memorable initiative.

  • Education

    We believe that learning is a continuous process, thus, we encourage and support opportunities in this area for our employees and our community. Employees form the backbone of our organisation, and we invest in stimulating their minds through our in-house development framework and external executive learning programmes. We also nurture tomorrow’s leaders through a range of programmes and university associations.

    Supporting learning through internet services
    A key focus for us is the provision of high-speed internet access to allow for a seamless online learning experience. To date, we have provided this for American University in Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication, and at Zayed University. Further, we’ve collaborated with Zayed University (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) in order to digitise and enhance the technical support at the College of Communication and Media Sciences’ multi-media laboratory.

    du Scholarships
    We continued our association with American University of Dubai (AUD) to provide scholarships to bright young Emirati students, complementing our existing agreement to provide the university with high speed (300 Mbps) broadband connectivity until 2017. We provided scholarships to 24 students for the 2015-16 academic year, thus exceeding our target of 20 students.
    We also contributed towards our existing endowment agreement with American University of Sharjah (AUS), under which we plan to provide AED 1 million annually for 5 years, the accrued interest from which will be used to provide scholarships to deserving students.