UAE announces Dh2 billion fund to help repair rain-damaged homes

A ministerial committee has been set up to assess damages and distribute compensation

by

Sahim Salim

/

Waad Barakat

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 5:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 10:32 PM

The UAE has announced a fund of Dh2 billion to help citizens repair homes damaged in last week’s record-breaking rains and subsequent floods. A ministerial committee has been set up to assess damages and distribute compensation.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called last week’s rains “unprecedented”. The country’s control rooms dealt with over 200,000 distress calls from residents “highlighting the scale of the damage caused to residential properties”.


On Tuesday, April 16, the country received a year’s worth of rains in a single day. The UAE recorded 6.04 billion cubic metres of rainwater in 24 hours as opposed to the 6.7 billion cubic metres it receives annually. It left multiple communities and homes flooded, caused flight cancellations, disrupted public transport services and left motorists stranded on waterlogged roads.

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“The severity of the weather situation was unprecedented. But we are a country that learns from every experience and develops itself,” said Sheikh Mohammed as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi Wednesday.

More than 17,000 security and emergency services personnel responded as the UAE dealt with the aftermath of the rains. Thousands of volunteers helped these officials in rescuing those stranded in the floods, managing traffic and getting essentials to those unable to leave their homes.

He highlighted the positives of the heaviest rainfall on record. “Our dams are full, our valleys flowed and our groundwater reserves swelled. We learned lessons in dealing with severe rains and boosted our readiness so that we are more prepared for the future,” the Vice-President added.

A day after the rains hit, President Sheikh Mohamed had said that the safety and security of citizens and residents is the “top priority” of the UAE government. He had directed the authorities to study the country’s infrastructure and limit the damage caused by the floods.

At least four people were killed in the floods. An Emirati died after his car was swept away in a valley. Two Filipinos suffocated to death while inside their vehicle during the flood, while another passed away in an accident.

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