Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of Emiratis waited eagerly in the circular hall for their numbers to be called. Having presented the required documents at the counter, they soon left the building beaming closely clutching packages that contained the keys and deeds to their new homes.
Through the week, many more Emiratis are expected to visit the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City headquarters to claim the keys to their new residential units in Abu Dhabi city’s Al Falah residential area. Sunday marked the inauguration of the home allotments following a decree by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan earlier this month. The decree called for 1,000 houses to be granted to eligible beneficiaries.
“This grant illustrates the keen attention of our prudent leadership to ensure a decent and stable life for all Emiratis,” said Owaidah Al Qubaisi, acting executive director of municipal services at the municipality.
While the houses currently being distributed were completed as part of the first phase of Al Falah City Residential Project, 1,000 more units are being constructed under the second phase of the scheme.
In total, 4,857 villas will be built across 12.5 million square metres in the development along with the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Mosque that will be able to accommodate 2,000 worshippers at a time.
A representative from the Abu Dhabi Centre of Housing at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs told Gulf News that beneficiaries are selected based on their need for new housing. “Emiratis can apply for a house at any time and we receive thousands of applications each year. When selecting recipients, the ministry prioritises divorced women and widows with children, then divorced women and widows without children, and then large Emirati families that are needy,” the representative explained.
Abdullah Ahmad Salem Obaid, 40, a data entry executive, told Gulf News he was delighted that his application for a house had been granted.
“Till date, my family and I have been living in a rented three-bedroom apartment on Corniche Road. This was not ideal, however, because I have four children who are quickly growing up. Finding parking near my home was also a regular concern,” Obaid said.
“Comparatively, my new home consists of five bedrooms, which will greatly increase the comfort of my family. And even though the house is slightly distant from my workplace, it is in a safe and secure location, and many of my relatives live nearby,” he added.
Ayesha Hassan, 37, a housewife, said she could finally move from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi with her six children and husband. “I came to know that my application had been granted just before Eid, and this home therefore feels like an Eid gift to me,” she said.
In all, 23 counters have been set up at the municipality’s headquarters to process documents for beneficiaries during the week, and 75 per cent of the keys and documents have already been distributed to beneficiaries.
“We hope to finish the delivery process within the week, and municipal executives at the headquarters and the municipality’s Al Bateen branch will serve customers from 7:00 am to 8 pm daily during the period,” said Mohammad Al Murrar, director of customer service at the municipality.
He added that the process of validating documents only takes 15 minutes for each customer, and that the houses being handed out are fully ready to be moved into.
Those who have been selected to receive houses under the scheme must simply submit copies of their passport, their family book and Emirates ID. Divorcées, widows and their sons must also submit Declarations of Filiation.