Residential options for low to middle-income earners

Affordable housing in Abu DhabiImage Credit: Supplied

Regional real estate developers have been churning out luxury housing options over the last few years. But 2014 is considered to be a game-changing year for the real estate industry as more developers are turning their attention to affordable housing.

In Abu Dhabi, rental levels are higher as demand outstrips supply of modern apartments and villas. Cheaper housing areas are mainly on the outskirts or the mainland like Al Bahia, Shahama and Khalifa City.

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council has implemented a secure policy to ensure the delivery of affordable housing to middle-income earners. The policy requires 20% of the residential gross floor area (GFA) in multi-unit residential projects within planned developments to be built as middle-income rental housing.

Also, a large construction company is in talks with the Abu Dhabi Government to build thousands of new homes for the lower paid workers in the capital.

In Dubai, rental levels are lower in a number of areas like Deira, International City, Discovery Gardens and Jumeirah Village.

However, the generally rising rents in the emirate have left many a tenant to seek residence in Sharjah, Ajman and even farther emirates like Fujairah. Housing options in these emirates also offer modern facilities but at cheaper rates.

For Emiratis, various housing schemes are available in the different emirates. The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme provides grants and loans to Emiratis of up to Dh800,000.

In Dubai, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MRHE) has been set up to provide UAE nationals with all the services needed for their housing needs. Multiple options are available including land, readymade houses, maintaining and expanding existing houses, and housing loans.

In Ras Al Khaimah, the Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Housing Programme aims to provide decent housing for nationals living in the emirate.

Handy Hints
• The Abu Dhabi UPC has implemented a policy to provide affordable housing
• There are various housing schemes available for Emiratis across the country
• In Dubai, Deira, International City, Discovery Gardens offer affordable units

Here are some additional insights on how to make property affordable in the UAE

Source: Zenifer Khaleel, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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