Abu Dhabi allocates $1.9bn for housing loans
Abu Dhabi focuses on 'adequate, modern' housing for UAE citizens
Abu Dhabi has earmarked $1.9bn from its 2011 budget for housing loans, the state news agency WAM reported, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan called for measures to shore up "social stability".
Abu Dhabi's local government planned to spend $56.5bn last year, around 74% of overall fiscal spending in the UAE. Its 2011 budget is not published.
According to WAM, Nahyan said on Monday that the government sought to provide "adequate and modern housing" for UAE citizens living in Abu Dhabi "to help achieve social stability".
The new housing loans, as well as funding for infrastructure projects, will benefit Emiratis, who constitute around 22% of Abu Dhabi's 1.8m population, according to 2009 data. The rest are generally foreign expatriates and migrant workers.
Abu Dhabi has been investing billions of dollars in local industry, infrastructure and tourism to diversify its oil-based economy, attracting thousands into the labour force and pushing up demand for housing.
Its Urban Planning Council has awarded contracts worth $6bn in April to meet the shortage. Separately, the UAE has earmarked $1.6bn for infrastructure in the less developed north, raised military pensions by 70% and introduced bread and rice subsidies, among other measures.