Housing and land benefits for UAE nationals
The UAE Government allocates land or provides free housing or housing loan, residential facilities and maintenance to deserving Emiratis. This way, the UAE ensures access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services.
At the federal level, Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure is responsible for organising the housing sector.
Further, UAE nationals can apply for housing or residential lands through the Housing Allocation Committee at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA).
Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme
At the federal level, Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP), established in 1999, provides interest-free loans repayable over a 25-year period to citizens with low incomes.
Grants and non-reimbursable assistance are dispensed to the poorest segments of society.
SZHP gives priority to orphans, widows, aged people and people with special needs.
The Federal Government doubled SZHP's budget in 2010, taking it up to AED 1.8 billion per year to enable it to expand its activities. Over 14,500 Emiratis received new houses from 2000 to 2012.
In April 2013, Sheikh Khalifa approved developmental and housing projects worth AED 800 million, which includes building new homes and reforming existing ones.
The President's Initiatives Follow-up Committee has also approved the construction of more than 760 houses for Emiratis.
In 2020, Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme was merged with Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure.
Policy on home finance for UAE nationals from 2022
In May 2022, the UAE Cabinet endorsed a new policy on home finance for UAE nationals.
According to this policy, housing loans shall be financed through collaboration between the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP) and national banks. The UAE’s banks shall assume full responsibility for the process of loan funding for Emiratis, and SZHP shall fund the interests resulting from the loans, on behalf of the UAE nationals.
Read related news coverage on WAM.
Housing assistance is also provided at the emirate level, which includes:
- Abu Dhabi Housing Authority
In December 2012, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA) was created to provide suitable housing for Abu Dhabi citizens, manage housing loans' programme and coordinate all housing-related projects.
Abu Dhabi Housing Authority has launched the 'Bayti' initiative for citizens in the emirate. This scheme provides 58 structurally and architecturally pre-approved housing designs. Under this initiative, residential communities based on the highest standards of quality and efficiency that provide security and comfort to the citizens will be built.
- Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment
Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MRHE) was established in 2007. It aims at providing appropriate housing to the nationals of the emirate of Dubai, by providing all housing related services through various alternatives, such as:
- granting residential plots
- granting governmental houses
- providing ready houses
- maintaining and extending the current houses
- giving housing loans as per the policies and standards adopted by the entity.
MRHE contributes to stimulating the national economy by executing investment projects and activating strategic partnerships with the private and public sectors.
- Community Development Authority
Community Development Authority (CDA) provides temporary housing to those whose house got damaged and became unfit to use as a result of natural calamity or disaster.
- Housing programmes in the Northern Emirates
These programmes include the following: