The UAE government will spend AED5bn ($1.4bn) to build new homes for 10,000 Emiratis, according to the official Emirates News Agency (Wam).

UAE Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum announced the plans during a tour of the northern emirates, in which he inspected a number of road and Emirati housing projects.

The new schemes will include three residential compounds valued at AED1.2bn, which will be built in the emirates of Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain, providing housing for 1,200 citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed also approved the names of 1,971 housing beneficiaries for grants valued at $272m and called for the immediate distribution of 800 villas in Sharjah and Fujairah.

“Housing for Emiratis tops the priorities of all rulers of the emirates,” said Sheikh Mohammed. “I always meet with Sheikh Khalifa [bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s president] and every single time, he inquires about the living conditions of Emiratis. Our talks always focus on ways to provide citizens with a good life. We will never rest until every Emirati is settled in his home, and Sheikh Khalifa is our leader as we follow this approach.”