The Abu Dhabi government has granted housing loans and cleared debt for more than 800 Emiratis on Sunday.

The value of the loans and exemptions totalled AED1.1 billion ($299.5m), benefitting 803 citizens, according to the statement published by the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

Coinciding with Eid Al Adha, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the disbursement of housing loans and the exemption of retirees and families of deceased mortgagors from loan repayments, under the directives of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The housing package “reflects the leadership’s commitment to ensuring social stability, enhancing living standards and strengthening citizens’ contribution to the advancement of society,” according to the statement and is part of the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

Abu Dhabi’s AED50bn ($13.6bn) government accelerator programme, Ghadan 21, was launched in 2019 and includes a raft of initiatives rolled out to further enhance the ease of doing business in Abu Dhabi, enrich the innovation scene and invest in the well-being of the people of Abu Dhabi.

A total of AED3.31bn has been distributed to citizens since January, the media office said in a tweet.

Ahead of the UAE’s National Day last year, Abu Dhabi’s government granted AED7.2bn ($2bn) in homes, land parcels and mortgage loans to more than 6,100 citizens in the emirates and exempted some retirees and families of deceased citizens from mortgage repayments.

The total breakdown of November 2020’s package included 3,099 plots of land, 2,000 housing loans and 601 homes, which were granted to citizens in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra, as well as home loan repayment exemptions for 381 citizens, worth AED340m.

Citizens make up a small minority of the UAE’s predominately expatriate population. Many have suffered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse has wreaked havoc on the country’s economy.

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