UAE launches $1.9 bln housing plan for citizens

The United Arab Emirates today adopted a seven billion UAE dirham (US$ 1.9 billion) plan to establish 7,200 houses for citizens over the next three years across all of the emirates, the UAE’s prime minister announced today.

“Today, about 80 percent of our citizens own their own houses, which is among the highest rates worldwide in home ownership,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said today through his official twitter account.

The housing plan was adopted at a UAE Cabinet meeting held today at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, which was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed.  He said the cabinet also directed authorities to provide residential areas with modern infrastructure for citizens, with sustainability specifications that ensure a green environment along with healthy and clean surroundings, in line with global environmental standards.

Earlier this month, the ruler of Dubai issued a decree to regulate the sale of houses and granted lands in the emirate, state news agency WAM reported, adding that the decree is aimed at providing housing solutions for grants’ beneficiaries and to preserve the demography of UAE nationals’ residential areas.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment allows the beneficiaries of grants to sell land or houses granted to them under several conditions, including that the purpose of the sale is to buy another plot of land or house, and that the buyer is a UAE national.

Another housing scheme, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, provides several housing services for UAE citizens, including interest-free loans, non-refundable grants and government housing units.

(Reporting by Nada Al Rifai; Editing by Michael Fahy)

(nada.rifai@thomsonreuters.com)

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