Emiratis in Dubai given access to social benefits

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UAE nationals in Dubai will be given access to social benefits under a new law passed by the emirate’s ruler, the latest step by authorities to help citizens’ deal with their debts.

Benefits will include financial assistance, emergency and one-time financial assistance, zero-interest loans and temporary home rentals, the UAE’s state news agency said.

In a separate statement on Monday, Dubai’s Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said “security and decent living” are basic human rights for every UAE citizen.

“The achievement of development and the social empowerment for Emiratis top the priorities of the government, which always seeks to invest on human resources, being the core of social development,” he said.

The new law is the latest move by the Gulf state to expand its support to the population as the UAE and other GCC countries boost welfare spending in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. 

Authorities last month freed around 290 UAE nationals from jail, imprisoned for bouncing cheques, and in May allocated around AED5m (US$1.3m) to settle defaulted loans for each indebted Emirati.

In August, the Central Bank ordered banks to extend maturities on personal loans held by Emiratis by more than four years.

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