Analysis

UAE provides continued support for housing projects despite COVID-19 pandemic

First half of 2020 sees housing projects for UAE citizens continue to have the same momentum as previous despite challenges posed by coronavirus outbreak

The UAE has continued to support housing projects for its citizens with the same momentum during the first half of 2020, despite the challenges imposed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

According to a report by WAM, the state news agency, this is part of the comprehensive national strategy adopted by the UAE for developing the housing sector, in a bid to serve citizens and ensure national prosperity.

In February 2020, the Follow-Up Committee of the Initiatives of the UAE President had announced the completion of the $517 million Mohamed bin Zayed Residential City in Fujairah.

The project was launched to meet the needs of citizens, support the well-being and stability of Emirati families, and improve the quality of their lives, the WAM report added.

The UAE leadership has placed the housing sector at the top of its priorities in order to achieve development across all emirates of the country to serve the citizens, it said

The Mohamed bin Zayed Residential City is an iconic urban achievement in Fujairah’s housing sector and a modern city designed according to the highest standards of residential communities internationally. The city is an extension of the package of vital projects across all regions of UAE and aims to achieve family stability and social security for citizens through housing projects, roads and service facilities.

Covering a 2.2sqkm area, the Mohamed bin Zayed Residential City consists of 1,100 residential villas equipped with advanced facilities, providing accommodation to 7,000 citizens.

In time, it will include schools, mosques, parks and commercial stores in addition to a community cultural centre and a men’s council, stated the report.

Located in the Al Hail area, 3km south of Fujairah airport, Mohamed bin Zayed Residential City includes 20 public parks and plots of land designated for public services.

Over the last six months, the UAE leadership had approved the disbursement of housing loans, houses and residential plots worth a total of $1.49 billion, granted to more than 5,500 Emirati nationals within Abu Dhabi.

This was followed by a directive from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to double the number of housing loans to UAE citizens falling within Abu Dhabi’s Development Accelerator Programme, ‘Ghadan 21’.

The leadership has also ordered the exemption of 429 retired citizens from the repayment of housing loans in Abu Dhabi, with a total value of $120 million.

In Dubai, the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment pointed out that its total housing grants and loans amounted to $54.9 million in the first quarter, accounting for 300 approvals distributed over five housing services, including 212 house construction approvals, 14 prefabricated houses owned through its purchase loans, 21 prefabricated houses not owned through its purchase loans, 59 maintenance, addition or substitution loans, and four facilitated apartment rentals.

In Sharjah too, citizen housing projects are continuing momentum with the 4,400-housing unit set for completion by the end of 2021.

On a federal level, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme is monitoring the implementation of many projects and programmes that aim to provide suitable housing for various segments of the community, by offering housing grants and loans for the construction, completion and maintenance of houses.

In January, the programme’s Board of Directors approved the applications of 503 eligible citizens worth $107.5 million. In May, the programme approved 500 applications worth $132.3 million, coinciding with Eid Al Fitr.

The programme plans to deliver 1,729 houses worth $544.5 million by the fourth quarter, including 888 over three phases in in Ras Al Khaimah, 500 in Ajman, and 341 in in Dubai.

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