Construction

Abu Dhabi creates housing body to develop mass housing

Move comes as UAE capital boosts social welfare spending

Abu Dhabi has set up an authority to develop mass housing as it pushes ahead with social welfare initiatives, in a move that could spur restructuring of the emirate’s real estate sector.

The Abu Dhabi Housing Authority was established by UAE President and Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, state news agency WAM reported.

Its remit is to develop housing programmes, outline rules and regulations for housing and create a database of applicants for loans, plots of land and low-cost houses, making review of applications easier.

Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed al-Nahayan, national security advisor and brother of the ruler, will chair the body, which will report to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council but have financial and administrative independence.

Abu Dhabi has boosted welfare spending for its citizens over the last couple of years, partly to avert any social discontent during Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere in the Middle East.

A property analyst at an Abu Dhabi-based bank said the housing authority could help the government restructure the residential real estate sector, which has been hit in the last few years by oversupply and a steep fall of prices.

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