We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 23 Jun 2010 06:51 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Dubai cuts off power to illegally occupied homes

Municipality officials target 21 properties in Al Jafliya, another 57 to be hit on Wednesday.

Dubai cuts off power to illegally occupied homes
PROPERTY CRACKDOWN: Dubai Municipality is targeting illegally occupied homes in the emirate. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Power and water supplies has been cut off at 21 illegally occupied homes in Dubai as part of a campaign to clear overcrowded villas, it was reported on Wednesday.

Inspectors from Dubai Municipality targeted the run-down properties in Al Jafliya, confiscating illegal generators.

A further 57 villas are scheduled to be inspected on Wednesday, the paper added.

It is the latest round of a campaign to stamp out the problem of overcrowded properties in the emirate.

Earlier this month, it was reported that about 27 houses in Dubai, each said to have at least 200 people living inside them, had been cleared by Municipality inspectors.

The action taken in Al Mamzar in Deira found residents in each house living in corridors and courtyards, as well as being squeezed into rooms.

About 15 generators were also confiscated in the Mankhool, Satwa and Jumeirah neighbourhoods.

Eleven people died when a fire ripped through a two-storey villa complex in Dubai, which was housing hundreds of labourers, in August 2008.

The workers, employed in different companies, were asleep in the complex behind the Naif Police Station when the fire started in the early hours.

In a recent online poll carried out by Arabian Business, opinion was divided as to how to solve the problem of overcrowding in some Dubai homes.

A total of 35.6 percent of people said there should be more cheaper rent options for low-paid workers, while 35.4 percent said the emphasis should be on companies to provide accommodation for their staff.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest UAE news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.
ali 10 years ago

I feel bad, sometimes it makes me feel we r worst then animals, in 21st century we still treat people like animals, we exploit them and leave them to rot…..cutting water and electricity will not resolve problem, it will only innovate another new problem. I always teach my children want we do/behave today, it shapes our tomorrow and what goes around comes around. Islam says, you will be answerable for ever action you do….

sonnydubai 10 years ago

This is disgusting - these poor people do not choose to live like this. I would imagine most are poorly paid with nowhere to turn. Its over 40 degrees outside. By throwing them out will push the problem somewhere else

Shazib 10 years ago

Is it ethical to loot their generators? What right do they have? They have the right to power their own homes, they did not steal anybody’s power…..so please let those desperate souls in peace….they need to take care of their families, let God bless those desperate people.

mohsin 10 years ago

really all these becos of high rent,worse here i seen in villa middle of naif road near khalid masjid about in one villa staying about 2000 plus have 2 dogs also,and this villa have only one exit,in case of any fire same in fast in 2008 about near by died so many people if anything happened in this villa ,no way to escape,there are 20-25 people in one room of 10x10feet about .i wonder how these villa got permission or why not some muncipality checking this villa its off khalid masjid

Louie Tedesco 10 years ago

Here we go again, whinging and complaining about the "poor people" living in these overcrowded conditions. Did no one notice that 11 people recently died in a fire in just such an overcrowded building? The authorities are to be commended for trying to do their job and maintain public safety and discipline under difficult conditions. The use of portable generators in residential apartment buildings is forbidden. People regularly die due to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by such generators. The "poor residents" were indeed lucky that they were not given fines or were locked up for endangering public safety - including their own lives and those of fellow residents. By examining and profiling such cases of overcrowding, police and other authorities have time and again clearly shown that the living conditions in such places are horrid, unhygienic and simply dangerous to the occupants and the public in general. When clearing or raiding such residences, illegal's are arrested with many of these being wanted for criminal activity. Often, many such residents as described as unemployed. How can they even be in Dubai legally if they are unemployed - they have no income? We, the normal-thinking population here, are grateful for the efforts of government authorities to keep us safe from these illegal residents, the criminal elements that they represent, and the public health risks they pose to us and our families. Reality is harsh. If you can't make a living here, go back home and suffer silently there or raise your voice in protest, if you dare. This region should not become a catch basin for the third world's poor, their illiterate and criminal elements. When people are required to congregate in such filthy, cramped, conditions, the system needs to remove them and assess their ability to support themselves properly. If their income is so low that they obviously cannot survive here, they need to be repatriated to their home countries. Over time, the problem of overcrowding will solve itself and Landlords -correction, Slumlords- would soon provide adequate low-priced housing for those of lesser means who do remain here. Reality is also harsh for the better-off. I would like to live and work on Park Avenue, in Kensington or the Champs-Elysee. Guess what? I cant afford it - just like the scores of the "poor residents" who can't afford the cost of living in Dubai.

Tafazzul Kamal 10 years ago

I am sure no one is living in these villas due to their choice but rather a lack of it. The poor people living there are generally low paid workers who cannot afford a decent place to live in. A law should be passed immediately to compel employers to provide accommodation to all employees who monthly salary is less than 2000. Then if someone is violating one villa one family rule, he should be punished. Shame on Dubai Municipality who are forcing people out of their villas in this unbearable hot weather. This is against basic principles of Islam and humanity!!

Travelling Parent 10 years ago

Louie, you're a real humanitarian, aren't you? Has it occurred to you that many of the people living in these conditions are doing so because they have been stiffed, one way or the other, by their employers? From the office-boy earning a pittance who finds himself being charged (illegally) for the cost of his visa, to the thousands of people who have been abandoned by runaway employers, there are plenty of people who are in miserable conditions due to other people's actions. A case in point is a former colleague of mine, who has recently ended up in prison after the boss ran away, leaving behind a trail of expired visas and months of unpaid wages. The guy did not want to live in a hovel like the ones decribed here, but he had no choice because he was broke. Much as he would have liked to "go home" as you suggest, he couldn't because the bank travel-banned him when he fell behind on his loans when his salary suddenly stopped being paid. So he was left in limbo, living in a slum and trying to find a new job. Ironically, at the time he was arrested he'd actually found a new job and was trying to get his visa changed over. The bank found out somehow, and called the police. Whilst I agree with you that people should not be allowed to live like this, it will continue to happen unless the rules are changed to stop people getting into this situation in the first place. This means a) removing the means for unscrupulous employers to abuse their staff and b) making sure that all workers have a package that allows them to live with a basic level of decency and hygiene. Ideally I'd like to see every expat private sector worker sponsored directly by the government, not by private businesses (most of who are either owned or managed by expats anyway). Second-best would be to remove the requirement for NOCs to change jobs. This could be subject to certain limitations such as a minimum length of service and a notice period, but the employer should basically be aware that any funny business and the staff will just walk. This would be a big incentive for employers to act ethically and responsibly. The next thing would be to make employers directly provide accomodation to any worker earning less than, say, AED 3,000/ month. No doubt some people would still enter into a side deal with their employer to be given cash instead, but at least then, if they are found in illegal accomodation, the authorities can return them to their employer and demand that he provides the contracted accomodation, and they won't just move to some other slum or end up sleeping rough in the summer heat. Employers would basically end up having to either pay a liveable wage to their junior staff, or take a decision to do without that person and find a smarter way of working. This would of course require a significant modernisation of the managment practices of many organisations in the UAE, who seem to think they are somehow more important if they employ a legion of badly-paid staff.

kingkaiser 10 years ago

I've read some of Louis Tedesco's comments before, and I'm always stunned by the lack of humanity in his responses. I'm sure if he had his way, "third world" scum would be banded together and shot. Yes, they have a hard time living here, that doesn't mean they should be treated like animals. Quite the contrary, low income housing should be provided at zero profit. A government is capable of raising funds at low costs, executing at low costs, and acquiring land practically for free. The people who are "unemployed" tend to actually be doing menial labor, the cost of which would shoot up if everything was to be done by well established companies who would still treat their employees like dirt (given the attitude towards third world citizens I see from our friend Louis, he may actually encourage this), but at least they would be employed on paper as well. Ps: Louis, not sure if you've been following recent events - seems like the new third world is forming west of Turkey...

Saeid 10 years ago

I'm with you 100%.. What a bunch of whiners. I specially think that this is a good time of the year to do it, since the temperature is reaching mid 40s. Hit them where it hurts, I say. By the way, how is the temperature in your Air-conditioned villa? IS it cool enough. I hope so! Cause you certainly deserve better than these people who have loads of money, but just don't want to part with it to rent a proper villa.

EXPAT 10 years ago

These villas are rented by individuasl and then sublet to either families or bacheolars in the process booking high profits . There are some who prefer these accomodation to save as much as possible on accomodation and there are others who would like to stay close to areas where they work .The last category are the ones who are mentioned in the majority of the letters do constitute a meagre 2-3% .However the question of surviving on meagre salaries is ones choice and not a compulsion .With the rents falling and with apartments available , I donot feel it is wouldamong be difficult to find a decent accomodation to live in. And finally nothing could justify 200 people to stay in a villa .