Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum has approved a Dhs2.1 billion housing grant for Emiratis looking to build their own homes.
The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme (SZHP) is expected to help 5,000 families, after Dubai’s ruler approved funding for the scheme.
The news will please many local families who have been waiting to be approved for grants – the programme has had nearly 30,000 applications since 2006.
As well as offering interest-free loans to build a house, the SZHP offers grants to assist in the buying, building and maintenance of a house, and builds government houses for applicants.
Those applying for the scheme must meet certain requirements, including a maximum income.
Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and chairman of the SZHP, said priority will be given to uncompleted homes across the UAE – around 1,500 – as per Sheikh Mohammed’s instructions.
“This grant will be a big step in helping us reduce our backlog so that we can begin assessing the new requests,” Al Nuaimi said, speaking to The National. “The number of applications we have pending increases by five to 10 per cent each year.”
The application process operates on a points system where the higher points an applicant earns the sooner their application is likely to be processed.
An applicant receives 20 points if they live with their family or rent a property, while each child adds an additional point.
The 5,000 grants are to be handed out by the end of the year, with 800 to 1,500 approved applicants announced each week until September 18.