The Ministry of Community Development, MOCD, supported 865 Emirati families with marriage grants over AED60 million in the first half of 2018. The ministry’s mandate involves developing and implementing policies, legislation and initiatives that contribute to the formation of happy and stable families in a positive community environment.
Since the enactment of the Federal Law No. 47 of 1992, the ministry disbursed more than 65,000 marriage grants. With the current high uptake, it is expected that the number of grants will witness an annual increase by end of the year.
Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, said, "Enhancing family cohesion is one of the ministry’s important strategic objectives, and supporting the establishment and stability of new families is an integral part of this priority. In addition to providing marriage grants, the role of the ministry extends to the provision of counselling and awareness programmes that enable couples who are getting married to start their life together on the right note."
She highlighted the Eadad (Preparation) programme, an integrated training course held across the UAE that covers six main topics: family building, marriage and its requirements, family relations, coping with family problems, financial and family planning, partnership between spouses in raising children, and the role of the family unit in society. With sessions led by experienced family education specialists, the program raises awareness of the importance of family stability and cohesion, and a positive home environment. In 2017, the ministry organised 31 training courses for 4,696 attendees. In H1 2018, 10 training courses benefited 1,280 citizens.
The ministry also launched several new initiatives, such as relationship workshops for newlyweds in the first five years of marriage and a confidential telephone counselling service focused at resolving family issues.
The minister said, "MOCD works relentlessly to provide all segments of the UAE society with services that enhance their happiness in line with the directives of our wise leadership. The Ministry is committed to stepping up its efforts to support Emirati families – a key priority for the UAE government."
She added, "A stable and cohesive family is one of the pillars of the UAE Vision 2021 and paves the way for achieving the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071. Only a happy family can raise a responsible new generation that contributes to society. MOCD seeks to give families a voice by eliciting their feedback and ideas through its social media and direct meetings."
The marriage grant of AED70,000 is paid at once. Both the spouses must be UAE citizens, with the husband no younger than 21 years and the wife no younger than 18 years. The basic monthly salary of each of the spouses must not exceed AED25,000. The spouses must submit a grant application within six months from the date of the marriage contract and must attend awareness courses and lectures organised by MOCD within one year from the date of application.