UAE orders payment of Emirati education, healthcare

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(Image for illustrative purposes).

(Image for illustrative purposes).

UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the payment of education and healthcare expenses for the children of Emirati women studying in public schools.

According to the state-run WAM news agency, a special office set up to administer the scheme today began accepting applications.

“In response to his directives, the follow up committee on the President's Initiatives for Emirati Women's Children said it had started preparing a special office to receive applications from those who meet the conditions,” WAM reported.

“The committee urged eligible individuals to report to the Presidential Affairs Ministry to present their applications,” the statement said on Saturday.

The move is the latest in a range of initiatives launched by UAE officials to help improve the lives of local Emiratis. Last year, Abu Dhabi announced plans to distribute AED2.3bn (US$626m) to more than 1,400 citizens in the form of housing loans.

Some 805 nationals in Abu Dhabi were due to receive housing loans totalling AED1.6bn, while AED788m will be issued to citizens in Al Ain, WAM reported.

Some AED549m in loans was to be distributed to 300 nationals in the Western Region.

The UAE said in June 2011 it had ringfenced AED7bn from its 2011 budget funds for housing projects and home loans for citizens and infrastructure spending.

The UAE, which has escaped social unrest unlike nearby Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, promised in March 2011 to spend $1.6bn on electricity and water networks in northern emirates, which receive lower revenues than oil-rich Abu Dhabi and trade hub Dubai.

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