What is IHC and how does it operate?

IHC is an independent free zone authority created by the Government of Dubai that serves as an aid and humanitarian hub, providing local and international humanitarian professionals with facilities and services specifically designed to meet their needs and facilitate their global operations. IHC brings together United Nations agencies, local and international aid and development organisations, commercial companies and other stakeholders in a secure environment that fosters partnerships, social responsibility and global change. IHC is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit legal entity.

Is IHC a relief organisation?

No, IHC is not a relief organisation itself, or affiliated with any non-for-profit, non-governmental or commercial organisation. IHC offers its facilities and services to humanitarian organisations as well as commercial suppliers to help make their humanitarian operations more efficient and effective

Where is IHC located?

IHC's premises are located in Dubai Industrial City and are 21 km from Jebel Ali Port and 18  km from the new Al Maktoum Airport.

 (see IHC’s Location Map).

Does IHC service the UAE/Middle East only?

No, IHC is an initiative of the Government of Dubai and welcomes humanitarian organisations and companies from all over the world. IHC has unique advantages as a transport and logistics centre both in terms of maritime and air transport. As Dubai is located within eight hours by air to two-thirds of the world’s population, IHC covers a wide scope of territories which enables its members to easily reach disaster-prone areas.

Registration and legal
What is the legal status of IHC?

IHC is an independent free zone authority of the Government of Dubai.

What type of organisations can register with IHC?

IHC’s members consist of various UN agencies and international humanitarian and development organizations/NGOs, as well as commercial entities that supply and provide solutions for these organizations.

Does IHC accommodate overseas organisations only, or does it accept local NGOs and charities too?

While international organizations make up IHC’s members list, local organizations affiliated with or partake in international operations are considered for membership. 

Does IHC endorse all the actions and declarations made by its registered members?

The actions and statements made by the organisations and companies registered with IHC do not necessarily reflect its official position and IHC does not responsibility for any expenses or damages that may directly or indirectly result from them. In addition, the insertion of materials promoting organisations' or companies' goals and activities in the IHC website or any other IHC material does not constitute or imply any legal endorsement.

What advantages is IHC offering to its members, compared to other free zones in the UAE?

As with the other free zones in Dubai, the standard principles of registering and licensing organizations apply -- a tax free environment with 100% foreign ownership. In addition to competitive rental rates for offices and warehouse facilities, IHC members benefit from a range of specialised services to facilitate their activities, as well as opportunities for synergies and networking with other humanitarian organisations and suppliers.  IHC is also the only free zone authority that issues licences for NGOs.

What value is IHC adding to humanitarian aid? How does IHC help alleviate suffering?

IHC positions itself as a facilitator of humanitarian efforts. It does not initiate any charitable initiatives nor coordinate humanitarian operations as such, but provides support to those who handle these operations, by bringing them under one roof, providing them with a platform for coordination and collaboration and addressing some of their essential needs through a range of specialised support services.

What benefits is IHC bringing to the people of the UAE?

As a humanitarian hub, IHC endeavours to create new job and internship opportunities for UAE nationals and residents, both in its own structures and in the humanitarian sector as a whole. It also aspires to enhance public awareness of humanitarian aid and raise the country's profile as an active contributor to the international humanitarian process.

Does IHC provide humanitarian training?

IHC itself does not design and run training courses. However it partners with leading international institutions to establish training related to the humanitarian sector that will be run out of IHC's training facilities. Those seeking humanitarian training will be able to find information about it with IHC.

Can UAE humanitarian organisations which are not registered with IHC benefit from IHC's servi

IHC's specialised support services are firstly addressed to IHC members. However, humanitarian organisations based in the UAE that are not officially registered with IHC are strongly encouraged to get in touch with the IHC team to discuss possible ways to collaborate and make a difference. Also, all UAE based charities - IHC members as well as non-members - are offered the opportunity to post their 'Volunteer Appeals' on the IHC website, by submitting their draft announcement and full contact online

Crisis and emergency response
What is IHC's involvement in emergency response?

IHC does not directly provide humanitarian aid. Its role is to facilitate aid operations by the humanitarian community by providing warehousing and office space and logistics support.  It also hosts coordination meetings of donors and aid agencies and provides offices and support to UN staff evacuated from conflict areas.

Should the public contact IHC in times of crisis for donations or information?

Yes, definitely.  IHC members are encouraged to provide the IHC with their news and volunteer appeals to post it through the IHC website in times of crisis.   The IHC team can help media professionals identify and connect with organisations involved in a specific crisis, and provide the public with advice on where to address their cash or in-kind donations in Dubai.

How is IHC raising awareness of humanitarian issues and crises?

IHC enables member organisations the opportunity to post news and appeals on its website and redirects journalists towards organisations involved in relief programmes relevant to their editorial needs. As for information on on-going humanitarian issues, the IHC website is linked with IRIN, the news agency of UN OCHA and Arab Hum.