At the end of last year, it was announced that Abu Dhabi will grant Dh18.4 billion worth of new loans, homes and land in the emirate to thousands of its citizens. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
At the end of last year, it was announced that Abu Dhabi will grant Dh18.4 billion worth of new loans, homes and land in the emirate to thousands of its citizens. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

New housing plans will help make Abu Dhabi 'number one globally' for home ownership

Abu Dhabi's new housing plans will help the country to reach 70 per cent private residence ownership among nationals by 2020, which would make it number one in the world for home ownership among citizens.

Currently at 69 per cent, the UAE has the second highest amount of residence ownership after Singapore. But Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, announced on Monday that Abu Dhabi plans to double the number of housing loans and reduce waiting times for property.

Dr Abdulla Al Nuaimi, a cabinet member and Minister of Infrastructure Development, told The National on Tuesday that the country is now on the "fast track" to ranking first worldwide.

At the moment, all married Emiratis, depending on their income, are granted either a ready built house or land by the state. Those on a higher income are granted land and a no-interest housing loan so they can build a house.

However, many Emiratis have complained that housing loan waiting times can be as much as ten years.

Like the majority of Emiratis, 40-year-old A. Salem has been waiting for more than five years for his housing loan, after waiting five years for his land.

“I received my land in 2010 after applying for it in 2005 and I still haven’t received my housing loan. My elder brother has been waiting for longer," the father of four said.

"In the mean time, all the money I've spent on rent has gone to waste and hasn't going towards anything that is mine in the end.

“Every year we live under the mercy of a landlord who can increase the rent at any time or ask that we vacate the house because he wants to live in it,” Mr Salem's brother – who asked not to be named — said.

Meanwhile, Emiratis live in rented accommodation or their parents’ houses. Other have gone ahead and taken private loans to buy houses instead of waiting for their government loan to come through.


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Abu Abdulla, 39, took out a loan for three million dirhams to buy a house in a private compound in Abu Dhabi.

“I am in a lot of debt but needed a house for my wife and kids,” he said.

The father of three applied for a housing loan five years ago after waiting for three years for his land.

Under the new measures, waiting times will be reduced to a maximum of three years, Dr Al Nuaimi said.

“These housing initiatives are undoubtedly a positive addition and an improvement to the lives of Emiratis. They are a natural continuation of the care and support of the leadership as the move was announced on Zayed Humanitarian Day.

“Reducing waiting times to a maximum of three years will give a lot of comfort to UAE nationals who have previously had to go through a long waiting process. It is a great move,” he said.

FNC member Salem Al Shehi said the announcement came after comprehensive studies on life for UAE nationals.

“Offering Emiratis houses and land and reducing long waiting times for grants contributes to the stability of the Emirati 'family'. We hope that the government continues to find solutions to housing problems and hopefully these latest announcements will resolve many, if not all, of the issues nationals are facing,” he said.


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New Zealand 229-7 (90 ov)

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat

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Director: James Gunn

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

Rating: 4/5

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Created by: Greg Coolidge, Shawn Simmons, Kirk Ward
Stars: Mel Gibson, Colin Woodell, Mishel Prada
Rating: 3/5


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Rating: 4.5/5

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3. Hajj

4. Shahada

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Open men
Australia 94 (4) beat New Zealand 48 (0)

Plate men
England 85 (3) beat India 81 (1)

Open women
Australia 121 (4) beat South Africa 52 (0)

Under 22 men
Australia 68 (2) beat New Zealand 66 (2)

Under 22 women
Australia 92 (3) beat New Zealand 54 (1)

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Name: Samar Frost

Born: Abu Dhabi

Hobbies: Singing, music and socialising with friends

Favourite singer: Adele


Born: Mukalla, Yemen, 1979

Education: UAE University, Al Ain

Family: Married with two daughters: Asayel, 7, and Sara, 6

Favourite piece of music: Horse Dance by Naseer Shamma

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Favourite place to travel to: Washington DC

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Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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What is the FNC?

The Federal National Council is one of five federal authorities established by the UAE constitution. It held its first session on December 2, 1972, a year to the day after Federation.
It has 40 members, eight of whom are women. The members represent the UAE population through each of the emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have eight members each, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah six, and Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain have four.
They bring Emirati issues to the council for debate and put those concerns to ministers summoned for questioning. 
The FNC’s main functions include passing, amending or rejecting federal draft laws, discussing international treaties and agreements, and offering recommendations on general subjects raised during sessions.
Federal draft laws must first pass through the FNC for recommendations when members can amend the laws to suit the needs of citizens. The draft laws are then forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration and approval. 
Since 2006, half of the members have been elected by UAE citizens to serve four-year terms and the other half are appointed by the Ruler’s Courts of the seven emirates.
In the 2015 elections, 78 of the 252 candidates were women. Women also represented 48 per cent of all voters and 67 per cent of the voters were under the age of 40.


6.35pm: American Business Council – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.10pm: British Business Group – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,200m

7.45pm: CCI France UAE – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,400m

8.20pm: Czech Business Council – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,400m

8.55pm: Netherlands Business Council – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,600m

9.30pm: Indian Business and Professional Council – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m


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Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
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Number of staff: 120
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Proposed by Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

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Seats open:

  • Two for Africa Group
  • One for Asia-Pacific Group (traditionally Arab state or Tunisia)
  • One for Latin America and Caribbean Group
  • One for Eastern Europe Group

Countries so far running: 

  • UAE
  • Albania 
  • Brazil 
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When: July 7-29

UAE Team Emirates:
Dan Martin, Alexander Kristoff, Darwin Atapuma, Marco Marcato, Kristijan Durasek, Oliviero Troia, Roberto Ferrari and Rory Sutherland

End of free parking

- paid-for parking will be rolled across Abu Dhabi island on August 18

- drivers will have three working weeks leeway before fines are issued

- areas that are currently free to park - around Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Maqta Bridge, Mussaffah Bridge and the Corniche - will now require a ticket

- villa residents will need a permit to park outside their home. One vehicle is Dh800 and a second is Dh1,200. 

- The penalty for failing to pay for a ticket after 10 minutes will be Dh200

- Parking on a patch of sand will incur a fine of Dh300

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Which honey takes your fancy?

Al Ghaf Honey

The Al Ghaf tree is a local desert tree which bears the harsh summers with drought and high temperatures. From the rich flowers, bees that pollinate this tree can produce delicious red colour honey in June and July each year

Sidr Honey

The Sidr tree is an evergreen tree with long and strong forked branches. The blossom from this tree is called Yabyab, which provides rich food for bees to produce honey in October and November. This honey is the most expensive, but tastiest

Samar Honey

The Samar tree trunk, leaves and blossom contains Barm which is the secret of healing. You can enjoy the best types of honey from this tree every year in May and June. It is an historical witness to the life of the Emirati nation which represents the harsh desert and mountain environments

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