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Awqaf Projects to Make Housing Affordable

Ahmed Shaaban / 16 September 2009

DUBAI — Hundreds of families now have a low cost housing option after the completion of first phase of the two- building project worth nearly Dh100 million by the government charity organisation Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Tayeb Al Rais, secretary-general of the foundation, said the low-income high-standard residential units are based in Al Muhaisnah.

“The two building project consists of 735 apartments,” Al Rais said.

He said the buildings are now available for rent at competitive prices.

The first phase of the two-building project of Al Muhaisanah-4 which includes 391 apartments worth Dh95.7 million is complete and rented out, according to the official.

The foundation has launched several initiatives and projects during the holy month of Ramadan.

“Many iftar meals have been distributed to minors in collaboration with philanthropists,” he said.

“The foundation has also distributed purchase coupons of Dh48,000 to 60 poor families during Ramadan. The foundation has also distributed Zakat (alms) of Dh4,522,000 to 1,358 listed needy minors,” Al Rais said.

Meanwhile, the foundation has sponsored many orphans in cooperation with charitable societies, let alone other endowments.

“The foundation has provided two of its pioneering secondary school staffers, who have scored above 90 per cent, with free scholarships at the Hamdan bin Mohammed Electronic University,” Al Rais said. Al Rais said the organisation is soon expected to finish another project in Al Quoz which consists of 453 units, including studio, one-room and two-room apartments.

The foundation has also completed the ‘Hamad Al-Arif’ residential project in Ajman, with a total value of Dh 5,700,000.

“The six-storey building comprises four one-room and two-room apartments, each with different types of areas,” he said.

Most recently, the foundation has built, operated and inaugurated a big hall for different occasions, forums, lectures and meetings at Al Mizhar area.

“Valued at Dh8 million, the project is 40,000 square feet in area, with the capacity of 600 people,” Al Rais said.

“It is divided into three separate minor halls with two main entrances, a reception, dressing room, warehouse and an administration office,” Al Rais continued. With millions of dirhams being ploughed into development projects, Al Rais said the foundation had not been significantly impacted by the global financial crisis.

“Though the whole world has not come across such an intense downturn for over 60 years, the foundation, being basically of a charitable nature, has only seen a drop in expected profits rather than a real loss,” said Al Rais.

This is because we responsibly avoid high risk investments and put minors’ funds in various fields. Our units are not only empty but also have more demand than supply, the official said.

Al Rais said the foundation, which has recently revamped its systematic structure, is smoothly running 40 projects worth Dh3.5 billion.

“Those include residential units, shops, warehouses, as well as hedge funds and BOT (build, operate and transfer) projects,” he said.

“All those units are for rent against affordable and competitive prices. They are basically meant for low income employees as is the case with the latest residential units in Al Quoz and Al Muhaisnah areas.”

Al Rais then indicated that endowment to the foundation is open to all people here.

The foundation’s customer service centre can be reached at: Phone: (04-2949494) or via e-mail: (info@amaf.gov.ae) or website: (www.amaf.gov.ae).


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