x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

New homes for 20,000 families

At least 7,000 families in Abu Dhabi will be handed the keys of new villas this year.

ABU DHABI // There was a broad welcome yesterday for the Executive Council's announcement of new housing for more than 20,000 Emirati families.

At least 7,000 families in Abu Dhabi will be handed the keys of new villas this year, the council has said.

More than 13,000 new residential plots, spread over 4,278 hectares in North Wathba, will be made available for Emiratis in the coming years.

The council, headed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has also approved the biggest residential project to date.

It was referred to the Executive Council by the Urban Planning Council as part of its 20-year plan, announced in 2009, to provide 50,000 houses for Emiratis.

Other areas outside the capital will also get a makeover, including Liwa, Ghayathi, Al Hayer, Al-Shuaib, Bida Al Mutawaa, Mazyed, Um Ghafa, Nema, Al Salamat Umm Alashtan and Alybanh.

The announcements pleased many Emiratis, who have long been disappointed that the government had failed to provide more housing.

Some have had to wait for more than five years for government housing.

Aisha Abdullah, from Al Hayer, said many old properties were no longer big enough to accommodate growing Emirati families, and were in need of renovation.

"The number of residents in the area is growing," she said. "Although there is no shortage of houses, families are getting bigger, and now houses seem small and need work, or additional land."