The UAE has granted 1,762 residential plots and houses to Emiratis as it pushes ahead with social welfare initiatives.
UAE president Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, in comments published by state news agency WAM, that citizens living in Abu Dhabi would benefit from the decree.
Living costs were a key issue in the wave of political unrest that swept across Bahrain and other Arab states last year, toppling rulers in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The MENA region has an estimated affordable housing shortfall of 3.5m, pricing homes out of the reach of many citizens.
Several Gulf states have pledged to ramp up spending on housing in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions, in a bid to secure quality housing for their growing populations.
Abu Dhabi established an Abu Dhabi Housing Authority in December to develop mass housing.
The authority said it will help develop housing programmes, outline rules and regulations for housing and create a database of applicants for loans, plots of land and low-cost houses, making review of applications easier.