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Thu 17 Jun 2010 11:05 AM

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Opinion split over ways to solve overcrowded homes

35.6% say cheaper rent needed, while 35.4% say employers should house staff - poll.

Opinion split over ways to solve overcrowded homes
VILLA CLAMPDOWN: Dubai Municipality inspectors are targeting 78 homes across Dubai with severe overcrowding. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Opinion is divided as to how to solve the problem of overcrowding in some Dubai homes, the latest Arabian Business poll has found.

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.

Tens of thousands of low-paid foreign workers, like shop assistants and cleaners, live in the city with many sharing accommodation because of high rental costs and pressure to send their wages home.

Last week it was reported that 200 people were evicted from just 27 houses in Al Mamzar in Deira. Dubai Municipality inspectors are targeting 78 homes with severe overcrowding that are scattered across the emirate as part of a clampdown.

According to the survey 12.6 percent of respondents said the government should take an even stronger line with tenants and carry out more raids and evictions on properties.

However, 15.6 percent of people said the responsibility laid with landlords who let their buildings to too many people, or not did not carry out proper checks to ensure there were no violations.

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Mike 10 years ago

So 35% say company should provide accomodation. I own a business here and I can tell you this, most of clients are closing shop one by one. Our revenues are down 60-80% from the highs of 2007. Our operating expenses haven't stopped growing, even now. We are considering letting go of 20% of our staff. A very hard decision, since they all have been such excellent players through out the years. And I can tell you that we are not the only company suffering. We are basically a supplier to other retailers. Our slowing business is a direct consequence of their businesses slowing down, and in some cases stopping altogether. The retail sector in this country will be going through another tough phase in the coming months. Only the very fit will survive it. And that is if the greedy Shopping Mall owners let them. They still demand the same rent as they did back in 07.

Sam 10 years ago

I used to be where you are right now, and that was three years ago. Despite the downturn that should have curbed the greed and woke up the sleepy heads, nothing seems to have changed with what slammed the economy into the sewers in the first place. We see here that 35% think that the buck needs to be passed off to someone (so why not the company owners) and 12.6% are still rubbing their hands in glee thinking that people who cram in homes are doing this because they're only trying to annoy them instead of being forced there thanks to the landlords tidal wave of organised greed. Whatever, Dubai...

Lord Cuthbert II 10 years ago

"Last week it was reported that 200 people were evicted from just 27 houses in Al Mamzar in Deira. " And who were the people, Indians ? I only ask as they often live in crowded accommodation (even in UK) but it is more than likely that they are not being paid a fair wage so they can't afford to live the way everyone else expects them too. Pay them a decent wage for a decent days work. ps) I know they were not british workers as in the UK even a prisoner would not accept living conditions like that :)

kingkaiser 10 years ago

Hear hear. I find it amusing that people complain about how these individuals live, as if these guys supporting a family with a wage of AED 2,000 a month CHOOSE to live like this. I'm pretty sure they have dreams and hopes to, and are suffering so that their children can live better lives. While this thread is limited to overcrowding, I find this to be an issue you see very frequently discussed in Dubai, with resentment of others for not having nice clothes, doing menial jobs, or living in squalor. Makes you wonder where in the airport you check humanity as you enter (Its not any one ethnicity that does this either). So maybe the solution isnt the government making life hell for these people, or burdening companies that are already struggling. The option of the government creating low-income housing is probably best - but the government needs to act to keep costs low, as it used to do in the 1980s, as opposed to reselling the units and generating profits (karama had rents that barely moved with the market - international city however fluctuated wildly and became unaffordable shortly after launching).