x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Mortgages extended to Emirati wives of foreigners

New rules mean Emirati women married to foreigners can apply for housing aid.

DUBAI // Emirati women married to foreigners will now be able to apply for mortgages under new guidelines that will allow more citizens to receive home loans from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment.

Emirati men with two wives will also be eligible for loans to build more than one home to house their wives.

The order to develop new housing loan categories was given yesterday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sami Abdullah Gargash, the chief executive of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MBRHE), said drafting of regulations and procedures to implement the changes was already under way.

Nadia al Falahi, an Emirati woman married to an Egyptian, said she had been waiting for the changes since the start of her 20-year marriage.

However, the mother-of-four added that the announcement was bittersweet.

"I'm so happy, but a little scared because there might be restrictions. I'm not sure exactly what I am eligible for and need more clarity," she said.

Her modest salary, combined with her husband's, helps the family get by each month, while a bank loan helps make ends meet.

No longer able to afford monthly rental, the family of six moved in with her parents.

"There are 10 of us in a small house, so it's difficult, and I hope the authorities remain sensitive to our issues. We need help because some people like me cannot afford rent and live in cramped spaces," she said.

"We're living under so much pressure."

Mr Gargash also announced the creation of an early payment system enabling citizens to complete their loans obligations ahead of schedule with discounted rates.

MBRHE is studying all requests put forward by residents that are enrolled and have updated their files.

Anyone who requires more information can visit www.mrhe.gov.ae.

melshoush@thenational.ae