UAE

UAE: Longer maternity leave, financial relief for families in new package of services

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The Emirati Family Growth Programme was approved on Monday by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, headed by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (3rd R), Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: A new package of initiatives to support Emiratis get married and raise children includes a longer maternity leave of 90 days, interest-free loans and rental assistance, among other services.

The Emirati Family Growth Programme was approved on Monday by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, headed by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

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The Programme has been launched by the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi (DCD), with initiatives implemented by several partners, including the Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, and the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority.

The Emirati Family Growth Support Programme will be implemented over a period of five years, during which the positive impact of the initiatives will be assessed to ensure their contribution to building a more stable and prosperous community.

What are the initiatives?

The Marriage Loan Initiative aims to promote a culture of simple marriages by providing a financial advance without interest or fees to citizen employees working in the public and private sectors who are about to get married.

The Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority will implement the Maternity Leave Support for Women Working in Private Sector Initiative, to extend the maternity leave of citizen mothers working in the private sector to 90 days to ensure sufficient time to rest and care for the newborn.

The Home Visit Service Initiative will be implemented by the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, which will provide assistance during the first weeks of motherhood, with the aim of supporting parents’ well-being and monitoring the child’s growth and development.

The Abu Dhabi Housing Authority will implement the Rental Assistance for Newlyweds, providing annual rental assistance to newly married couples through specified financial support that will last for four years. The support will gradually decline, with specific incentives linked to the birth of children.

The fifth initiative is the Loan Partial Deduction, which is an exemption of a percentage of the loan amount, specifically linked to the birth of a fourth, fifth, and sixth child in the family.

The Abu Dhabi Housing Authority will also implement the initiative titled Extending Housing Loan Repayment Period, for housing loans for a period of three years linked to the birth of the fourth, fifth, and sixth child.

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Helping parents

Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Chairman of the DCD, said: “Abu Dhabi has always been a city that supports children, empowers young people, and is family friendly. From this standpoint, we affirm our commitment to supporting young people and those about to get married by providing a supportive system based on a belief in the importance of family in building society, enabling them to establish stable families. We are dedicated to supporting parents and helping them overcome the challenges they face in raising their children, as the family is the fundamental building block for creating a responsible society that continues the path of progress and preserves our national achievements.”

Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, said: “The Abu Dhabi Housing Authority works within an integrated system alongside the community sector entities affiliated with the Department of Community Development to implement the growth programme for Emirati Family, by providing a set of housing initiatives that will contribute to the programme’s objectives.”

Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the DCD, said: “The family is the nucleus of society and the basic building block for its stability and sustainability, and our children are the pride, foundation, and the true wealth of the nation. Therefore, we encourage newly married young Emiratis and families to grow their numbers, because they play a vital role in achieving social stability and preserving national identity.”

Abdulla Al Ameri, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, said: “As the entity responsible for regulating the social sector, the Department of Community Development is successfully establishing a comprehensive framework that enhances the quality of life for families, youth, and parents. These efforts emphasise the role of the family, recognising that strong and stable families are the foundation of our society and essential for sustainable development in Abu Dhabi emirate.”

Hamad Hareb Al Muhairi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, said: “Through the rental assistance initiative, we seek to provide financial support to married citizens in a way that contributes to enhancing their stability at the beginning of their family life, in addition to encouraging the Emirati youth to marry and start their families by facilitating requirements related to housing needs as they are among the key factors that contribute to enabling individuals to start a family life.”

He also stated that these services will be available next September.