By: Joanne Blad; ArabianBusiness.com, UAE
The UAE said in June it had ringfenced AED7bn from its 2011 budget funds for housing projects and home loans for citizens
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is to distribute AED2.3bn (about $626m) to more than 1,400 citizens in the form of housing loans, state news agency WAM said.
The Gulf state’s executive council said Monday the loans would be distributed to 1,496 Emiratis in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to allow them to build houses or renovate their existing properties.
Some 805 nationals in Abu Dhabi will receive housing loans totalling AED1.6bn, while AED788m will be issued to citizens in Al Ain, WAM said.
Some AED549m in loans will be distributed to 300 nationals in the Western Region. The scheme is in line with efforts “to provide decent and stable living standards to citizens,” the news agency said.
The UAE said in June it had ringfenced AED7bn from its 2011 budget funds for housing projects and home loans for citizens, and infrastructure spending.
Citizens can borrow up to AED2m in home loans over a 30-year-period, interest-free, WAM said. The total loan amount can be reduced by up to 22 percent once construction of the house is completed.
The UAE, which has escaped social unrest unlike nearby Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, promised in March to spend $1.6bn on electricity and water networks in northern emirates, which are a sharp contrast to oil-rich Abu Dhabi and trade hub Dubai.
The world’s third largest crude oil exporter also moved in May to cap the price of around 400 food and household items across 70 retailers, and raise military state pensions by 70 percent.
Soaring food prices were a key factor in the popular uprisings that swept rulers from power in Egypt and Tunisia.
Abu Dhabi is spending $2.5bn on the Al Falah housing project alone, to create 4,857 affordably-priced villas for UAE nationals.
In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the wealthiest Gulf state, King Abdullah has unveiled more than $100bn in social handouts since March.