UAE’s government announced on Tuesday a major housing development programme under which more than 17,873 new residential units will be built across the country, with investmenta of Dh17.32 billion ($4.7 billion) over the next five years.
Besides this, a total of 5,134 houses will be built in residential neighbourhoods under construction, said Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme.
He was speaking at an event on the occasion of the UAE’s 48th National Day to highlight the key achievements of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme.
Established by the UAE’s founding father Late Sheikh Zayed, the Programme has set strategic objectives which seek to meet the current and future residential needs of Emirati citizens; provide and develop the sustainable and innovative residential environment beyond people expectations; and ensure provision of administrative services according to quality, efficiency and transparency standards.
Al Nuaimi said the Programme is implementing a package of housing projects around the country this year, which include over 11,000 individual homes and another 2,936 units as part of four housing neighbourhoods under construction. These units will be delivered in 2020 and 2021, respectively, he stated.
Under the scheme, the total number of residential units under construction this year has risen to 13,946, revealed the minister. “The programme aims to construct 13,200 individual housing units in 2020,” he added.
According to him, the cost of the Programme’s future projects is expected to hit Dh22.32 billion over the next five years.
Dr Al Nuaimi pointed out that the main goal of the Programme was to fulfil the housing needs of UAE citizens, so that it reduced its waiting period from eight years to several months.
The government, he stated, has till date distributed housing aid worth Dh17.5 billion to over 67,000 nationals under the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme in the form of loans and grants to build new houses and maintain existing houses.
“The proportion of citizens now receiving housing aid exceeds 90 per cent of applications, which was less than 30 per cent when the programme was established,” said Al Nuaimi.
According to him, the value of housing support decisions made this year until October amounted to Dh2.8 billion, up 740 percent compared to 2001 and equivalent to over Dh388 million.
The minister said that this high percentage reflected the keenness of the country’s leadership to provide citizens with suitable modern housing.
The Programme has issued 1,051 housing aid decisions to senior citizens and people of determination with an estimated cost of Dh500 million, to ensure their housing stability and make them happy, he noted.
The number of completed and delivered individual housing projects since the programme’s inception total 35,000 houses while houses delivered to UAE citizens through residential neighbourhoods amounted to 1,490, as part of the construction of five neighbourhoods costing Dh1.5 billion, he added.
The programme aims to meet sustainability standards related to residential neighbourhoods, through reducing water consumption by 40 per cent and electricity consumption by 20 percent.