Abu Dhabi extends maternity leave to 90 days for some employees in private sector

Newlyweds could also avail of annual rental assistance for four years, while couples with four or more children could get loan deductions, authorities announced

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Photo: Wam file
Photo: Wam file

Published: Tue 9 Jul 2024, 11:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 13 Jul 2024, 9:30 PM

Maternity leave has been extended to 90 days for Emirati women who are working in the private sector in Abu Dhabi, authorities have announced.

This was among six initiatives that the Department of Community Development (DCD) — Abu Dhabi has launched to support Emirati families in the emirate.


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While those in the public sector have always been entitled to three months of paid maternity leave, women in private firms are typically granted 60 days — 45 days fully paid and 15 days half paid, according to the UAE Labour Law.


Now, under the new initiative, even Emirati mums who are in the private sector will be able to get a 90-day leave — "to ensure sufficient time to rest and care for the newborn", the authorities said. The Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority will be implementing the new rule.

New mums will also be given assistance during the first weeks of motherhood under the 'home visit service' to be rolled out by the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. The goal, it said, is to support parents' well-being and monitor the baby's growth and development.

Besides the extended maternity leave and home visits, Emirati couples will benefit from a slew of other initiatives and financial relief packages — from marriage loans and loan deductions to rental assistance.

Boosting family life

All six new schemes fall under the Emirati Family Growth Support Programme, which comes in line with Abu Dhabi's strategy to enhance the quality of family life in the emirate, with goals extending to 2028.

Its main objective is to build and grow families by supporting UAE nationals as they marry and raise children.

"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 ... enabling them to establish stable families," said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of DCD Abu Dhabi.

"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."

Loan deductions, financial support

Here's a recap of six initiatives that were launched for UAE nationals in the Capital:

  • Extended maternity leave
  • Home visit service for new mothers
  • Marriage loan
  • Rental assistance for newlyweds
  • Extension of housing loan repayment period
  • Partial loan deduction

Young Emirati couples will be provided with all the support that they need to start a family — right from the time they decide to tie the knot.

Under the marriage loan scheme — which will be headed by the Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority — Emirati employees in both public and private sectors could secure a 'financial advance' for their wedding without any interest or fees. Young couples, however, are encouraged to say no to extravagance and get married in simple ceremonies.

Then when it's time to look for a place to stay, newlyweds can head to the local government for annual rental assistance.

Specified financial support will be given to them for four years. The amount, however, will gradually decline, with specific incentives linked to the birth of children, the authorities said. This rental assistance scheme will be implemented by the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (Adha).

"The other two initiatives — which are to deduct an amount of money from the housing loan and the initiative to extend the repayment period for housing loans — aim to reduce the financial burdens on citizens and encourage them to have children," said Hamad Hareb Al Muhairi, director-general of Adha.

These services will be available next September, Al Muhairi said.

Under the partial loan deduction scheme, UAE nationals would be able to get their loan amounts reduced by a certain percentage — upon the the birth of a fourth, fifth, and sixth child in the family.

Adha will also roll out extensions for housing loan repayment for a period of three years for beneficiaries who have four or more children. Certain criteria and conditions will apply.

The Emirati Family Growth Support Programme will be implemented over a period of five years, during which the impact of the initiatives will be assessed.

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