Conference Postponement Announcement

Over the past several months, IAVE and the Emirates Foundation have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and have come to the decision that it is no longer advisable to go forward with the 26th IAVE World Volunteer Conference (WVC) in October 2020 as planned.

Thus, we have decided to postpone the WVC to October or November of 2021 with a specific date to be announced by July of this year. This was a difficult decision, but the health, safety and well-being of our partners, presenters, and attendees requires that we take this action.

However, while we are postponing our conference, we are definitely not pausing our work. In the coming year, we will be holding events, webinars and virtual sessions to engage our global community, stakeholders and build momentum for the 2021 WVC. Stay tuned for announcements and further details!

In addition, we would like to thank our sponsors, partners and networks for their continued support as we navigate through this unprecedented time. We look forward to seeing everyone in the UAE in 2021, strengthened and reinvigorated.

Thank you,

IAVE & Emirates Foundation


When will you announce the new conference dates?

New dates will be announced by July 2020. Tentatively, the conference is scheduled for October/November 2021.

Will the host country for the 2021 conference still be the United Arab Emirates?

The conference will still be hosted by the Emirates Foundation and will take place in the UAE.

I already registered/paid for the conference. How will you proceed with existing registrations and payments?

The Emirates Foundation will cancel all registrations and process 100% refunds. We ask for your patience as we process the cancellations and refunds.

Can I transfer my existing registration for next year?

At this time, we will be cancelling all existing registration. The registration portal for the new dates will open early 2021.

I submitted an application to present at the conference. What will happen to my submission?

Due to the dynamic nature of our field, the conference program will be updated and modified to best fit the context of the volunteer community in 2021. As a result, there will be another round of Call for Presenters to reflect the program changes. We encourage you to submit your abstract at that time.

When will registration open for the new dates?

Registration for the new dates will open in February 2021.

Who can I contact for any inquiries or concerns?

Please email us at with any questions or concerns.

Our Partners


What is IAVE?

IAVE stands for the International Association for Volunteering efforts (IAVE) and exists to promote, strengthen and celebrate volunteering in all of the myriad ways it happens throughout the world. With members in 70+ countries, IAVE is the connective tissue of a global network of leaders of volunteering, NGOs, businesses and volunteer centers that share a belief in the power of volunteers to make a significant strategic contribution to resolving the world’s most pressing problems.

What is the IAVE World Volunteer Conference about?

The IAVE World Volunteer Conference is part of The International Association for Volunteer Efforts (IAVE) which began in 1970 with the birth of IAVE and is organized every two years in a different country around the World. The conference aims to bring together the volunteering community from across the world to share their experiences, learn from one another and build bridges across cultural, political and linguistic barriers.

What is the Format of the Conference?

The conference includes a series of stimulating plenaries and workshops with inspirational speakers and experts from around the World. Workshops include compelling topics, discussions and debates on challenging issues confronting the volunteering sector around the World.

Who usually attends the IAVE World Volunteering Conference?

The World Volunteer Conference brings together participants from civil society, government sectors, and corporations to share and explore how volunteers as agents of change provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives and strengthens communities.

Where and when will the conference take place?

The 26th World Volunteering Conference will take place on October 11-14, 2020 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Company (ADNEC)

How can I register to the event?

Registration can be done directly from the website:

Are the costs to participate?

Yes, please check the registration on the website for more details on the different categories of participation.

Do I need a visa for Abu Dhabi?

Ctizens of Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican State can get a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport.GCC citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE.

Where I can stay during my visit?

We have chosen a range of hotels across all price levels, all within walking distance of the conference site. Discounted prices will be announced in mid-February.

What is the theme of the 26th IAVE World Volunteering Conference?

The Theme is Volunteering Together to Enable Change and Create a Better World: Sharing and exploring how volunteers as agents of change provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives and strengthens communities.

What are the highlights in the conference agenda?

The 26th World Volunteering Conference includes the following topics:

  • Volunteering 2030 – New Paradigms
  • Future Leadership – the Role of Youth Volunteers
  • Tolerance and Inclusionin volunteering
  • Corporate Volunteering
  • Volunteering and the Digital World
  • Measurement and Impact of volunteering
  • Volunteerism and Community Resilience