ABU DHABI // The municipality will finalise its gift of more than 1,200 residential land plots to UAE nationals this week, as part of a nearly 6,000-plot handout in 2010.
The allocation is the result of a grant ordered by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, and completes the distribution of nearly 3,000 plots to eligible Emiratis in the second half of the year.
So far, 2,952 plots have been allocated - 1,835 in the suburbs of Abu Dhabi city, 1,041 in the suburbs of Al Ain city, and 76 plots in the Western Region. The size of the plots varies, and the land is distributed by an automated process, through an electronic system meant to ensure equal access to the open lots.
Owaidhah al Qubaisi, the acting executive director of the municipal services sector, said the programme paved "the way for the emergence of a generation with a stronger devotion to their homeland".
The residential land plot allocation is a long-standing tradition. It began as a project to provide land to nationals under the rule of Sheikh Zayed, the founding President of the UAE. Emiratis are provided with the land, and are allowed to build any kind of residential structure they like on the property.
Special consideration is given to families who wish to have adjoining properties. The plots are spread throughout the emirate, and cannot be used for commercial reasons.
Interested residents can apply through the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, which is responsible for overseeing the allocation, on their website. Documents, including copies of passports, family books, identity cards and property ownership certificates, as well as marriage-related documents and status proof certificates in some cases, are required.
For residential land applications, the national applicant must be employed, retired or eligible for social security, and must be at least 18 years old. Nationals can also apply in person at municipal customer service centres, which are located in Al Bateen, Al Shahama and Al Wathba, and at the municipality headquarters.
"Once the process is finished, text messages will be sent to all beneficiaries notifying them of the location and number of their respective land plots," Mr al Qubaisi said.
More than 400 land allocations are expected to be finalised by the end of the year. A municipality spokesperson said the programme was expected to continue for many more years.