Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Media office

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan today issued instructions to restructure the Social Support Programme for low-income families and increase its budget from Dh14 to Dh28 billion.

The programme will be restructured under an inclusive umbrella in line with Sheikh Mohamed’s keenness to provide a dignified life for low-income Emiratis and help them enjoy decent living standards. The President’s gesture reflects his keen interest in providing various means of support to low-income Emirati families and citizens in order to strengthen family stability — a move that is in line with the UAE’s strategy to enhance the social well-being and quality of life for its citizens.

The comprehensive support programme covers the various basic needs of low-income families through the Ministry of Community Development. The programme covers head of household allowance, wife’s allowance and children’s allowance, financial support for housing, as well as basic needs such as food, water, electricity and fuel, as well as temporary financial support for job-seeking and unemployed Emiratis over the age of 45 years.

Encouraging outstanding students

Four new allocations have been introduced to cover housing, university education, unemployed Emiratis over 45 years and unemployed citizens who looking for jobs. The four allocations aim to enable low-income Emirati families to have proper housing, encourage outstanding students to attend university, and support older citizens.

The new programme includes housing allowance ranging between Dh1,500 and Dh2,500 per month in the case of independent housing until the family receives government housing. Applicants who live with their parents or any other family are entitled to 60 per cent of these amounts. Those who receive any other form of government housing subsidy or own a house registered in their name are not entitled to housing allowance.

Under the ‘University Education Allocation’, a monthly allowance of Dh3,200 has been allocated for outstanding high school students enrolled in university studies in accordance with the requirements of the Council of Education and Human Resources. The allocation also includes students who are registered in diploma and university education programmes as each family is entitled to a monthly allowance between Dh2,400 and Dh800, provided the student’s age does not exceed 25 years.

Allowances for head of Emirati household, wife and children

A fixed monthly allowance of Dh2,000 to Dh5,000 will be given to unemployed citizens aged above 45 years. Job-seekers will be given a monthly allowance of Dh5,000 for six months to help them find jobs.

The restructured Social Support Programme also increased the allowances granted to the head of the Emirati household, wife and children. The allowance for the head of household has been increased to Dh5,000 and increased by Dh2,000 monthly for those with ten years of experience, and goes up to Dh13,000.

The head of household aged 21-30 will receive Dh 5,000 per month, Dh7,000 for the 30-40 age group, Dh9,000 for those aged between 40 and 50, Dh11,000 for those aged between 50 and 60, while those above 60 years will receive a monthly allowance of Dh13,000.

The monthly allowance given to Emirati wife has been increased to Dh3,500.

The Social Support Programme also includes an increase in children’s monthly allowance to Dh2,400 for the first son, Dh1,600 for the second and third son, and Dh800 for the fourth and older son, to be spent up to the age of 21. This allowance applies to all cases, including the employee, the unemployed and the job seeker.

Government to bear 75 per cent of inflation

The programme includes three types of inflation allowances, including food support allowance, electricity and water allowance and fuel allowance. On food support, the UAE government will bear 75 per cent of inflation in food prices in its commitment to provide the necessary assistance to UAE families and enable them to meet the living requirements and provide them with a decent life.

On electricity and water support allowance, this support is part of the government’s strategy to help low-income people in various aspects of living, particularly in the basic ones. The programme will provide a monthly support of 50 per cent for electricity consumption of less than 4,000 kilowatts, and 50 per cent monthly water support for water consumption of less than 26,000 gallons.

Fuel support

For fuel support allowance, the programme provides assistance to reduce the impact of fluctuations in fuel prices globally and is in line with the UAE’s keenness to provide the basic needs of low-income citizens. It provides monthly support of 85 per cent of the increase in the price of fuel over Dh2.1 per litre. A married head of household receives a monthly support of 300 litres, while a working wife receives support for an additional 200 litres. The head of the household receives support for 400 litres of fuel if the wife does not earn.