President Sheikh Mohamed orders Dh1.5bn of housing benefits for Abu Dhabi citizens

The UAE ruler announces second benefit package during Eid Al Adha

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in 2015.  Photo: Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi
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President Sheikh Mohamed has ordered the distribution of Dh1.5 billion ($410 million) worth of housing benefits to Abu Dhabi citizens.

It is the second such announcement this year and it coincides with the holy occasion of Eid Al Adha.

The payout will include grants for home loans and exemptions from loan repayments.

More than 1,100 Emiratis will benefit from the package, including retirees and families in which the mortgage payer has died.

In April, under the first housing package of 2022, which coincided with Eid Al Fitr celebrations, 1,347 citizens in Abu Dhabi received housing loans worth a total of Dh2.36bn.

Sheikh Mohamed ordered the payment of the loans following directives from then-President Sheikh Khalifa.

Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme

The UAE government allocates land, free accommodation or a loan to eligible Emiratis who apply though the Housing Allocation Committee.

The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, established in 1999, provides low-income Emiratis with interest-free loans that are repayable over a 25-year period. Priority is given to widows, senior Emiratis and people with disabilities.

The scheme was introduced to ensure all Emiratis have access to safe and affordable housing and basic services.

The UAE capital aims to double the number of housing loans issued to Emiratis as part of Abu Dhabi Government Accelerator Programme, Ghadan 21.

Emiratis who have worked for at least 15 years and lived in the UAE for a decade or longer can apply for loans of Dh500,000 to Dh2.25m from the government to buy a home or plot of land on which to build a house.

This loan is repaid over the remainder of their lives but can sometimes be waived by order of Sheikh Mohamed. Typically, retired or low-income Emiratis are exempt from such directives.

The loans are distributed by Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme but Emiratis can alternatively apply for a pre-built home with Abu Dhabi Housing Authority.

Cost of living subsidy

Earlier this month, a Dh28 billion ($7.6bn) social support package was announced, to provide lower-income Emirati families with subsidies to pay for essentials including fuel, food and utilities.

The President said the existing social support scheme for citizens would be restructured to raise annual financial assistance from Dh2.7bn to Dh5bn.

The total social support budget was doubled from Dh14bn.

Emirati cost of living subsidy: in pictures

Updated: July 12, 2022, 6:04 AM
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