About Us

The Trust was founded as a UK-registered charity (no. 284116) in January 1982 by His Excellency Mohamed Mahdi Altajir, a former Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Britain. His Excellency has many interests in Britain and is Chairman of the Altajir Corporation based in Dubai with a world-wide network of business activities. His Excellency finances the Trust through charitable donations.

In November 2014 the Trust became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registered with the UK Charity Commission, no. 1159070. The Trust's origins go back to 1973 and The World of Islam Festival Trust, (registered charity no. 313799) founded as a vehicle for a wide range of events and activities that took place in Britain during 1976. For many people in Britain, this was the first real opportunity to learn more about the world of Islam and its culture; the Festival has had a lasting influence.

The assets and liabilities of the World of Islam Festival Trust were transferred to the Altajir Trust in 1999. The Altajir Trust has continued to support the broad themes and objectives that underpinned the Festival. The Trust has sought to maintain a standard of excellence in all its endeavours. It has also sought to appeal to people in Britain and other Western countries in as imaginative a manner as possible while avoiding political or theological controversy.

The Trust has concentrated its efforts and resources on promoting Islamic studies by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars and on the advancement of understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture and history. It has done this through exhibitions, publications, educational activities and other programmes related to Islamic culture, Muslim Christian relations and the history of the Middle East. The Trust also provides scholarships for nominated graduates, mainly from the Arab world, to undertake further studies at approved universities within the United Kingdom.