Lower income Emirati families grateful for new social support package

New set of allowances will come into effect in September

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Lower income Emirati families are grateful for the far-reaching support package announced on Monday that will offer subsidies to pay for essentials such as fuel, food and utilities.

President Sheikh Mohamed announced a Dh28 billion ($7.6bn) social support package for Emiratis whose total income was less than Dh25,000 a month.

Led by the Ministry of Community Development, the programme offers aid for housing, food, fuel, electricity and water, in addition to temporary financial support for unemployed citizens over the age of 45.

The new set of allowances will come into effect in September, Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, said on Monday.

“The increase in these subsidies aims to tackle inflation. People registered in the ministry and in other local authorities will include new families, as the conditions and rules have been changed,” Ms Buhumaid told Dubai TV.

“Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, July 5, we will announce more details of the application and mechanisms for disbursing aid and social allowances to the various eligible groups,” she wrote on Twitter.

Aware of challenges

Mohamed Al Hammadi said he hopes his family be able to benefit from the subsidies. Image: Mohamed Al Hammadi

Mohamed Al Hammadi, 32, is hopeful he and his young family will benefit from the new subsidies.

Mr Al Hammadi, who earns Dh25,000 a month as head of programmes and activities at the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, said his wife lost her job a few months ago.

The couple have three children, one of whom is at a private school in Abu Dhabi.

Including tuition fees, utilities and petrol for their two cars, they also have to pay rent.

“My wife helped keep us afloat, but when she lost her job, it started becoming a challenge with prices going up,” Mr Al Hammadi told The National.

“I think what kept us going is the strong faith we have in our leadership. A faith that when things become dire, they will support us, and this latest decision is proof of that.

“It's a testament that they are aware of whatever challenges we face and are there to resolve any problems we might have,” he said.

“I do hope we are included in this latest decision and, if not, then we are confident that there will be something else for Emiratis who are in our situation.”

Mohammed Ahmed, 41, who lives in Fujairah, earns Dh6,000 a month.

He lost his government job a few years ago and now works at the free zone as a security and data entry officer.

“Living on Dh6,000 is a challenge, but I am grateful for everything. I live with my mother so I don't pay rent,” he said.

Mr Ahmed is divorced and has one daughter.

“Half my pay goes to her and the other half goes to paying off my debts,” he said.

“The UAE leadership always supports us, and with that kind of leadership, there is no need to worry. I am grateful, and that's all I can say.

“It is a wonderful decision that will benefit us all.”

Updated: July 05, 2022, 4:59 AM