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Wed 17 Dec 2008 05:19 PM

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Power being cut from 20 villas per day in campaign

Dubai Municipality chief says there will be no slowdown to one villa, one family initiative.

Dubai Municipality is disconnecting power and water from up to 20 villas per day and will continue to do so as part of its one villa, one family campaign.

Civic leaders said the controversial campaign would continue in the emirate despite rumours to the contrary, it was reported on Tuesday.

According to state news agency WAM, the practice of multiple families sharing villas will not be stopped or slowed down in the wake of the economic crisis.

“We are only concerned about the safety and security of the residents as well as the environment. Economic crisis is not a factor in carrying on the campaign against sharing villas,” said Omar Mohammed AbdulRahman, head of Building Inspection Section in the Buildings Department.

In October the municipality brought in a ban on bachelors and multiple families sharing villas in Dubai on health and safety grounds after several labourers died in a fire at an overcrowded villa in the Naif areas of the city in September.

AbdulRahman said that more than 4,000 notices had already been served to villas in the crackdown. Between 10-20 villas are being disconnected from electricity and water supplies every day he said.

So far the Municipality has not extended the campaign to apartments he said, but added there are regulations in place.

“So far, we have not started any campaign against flats being shared by families. There are rules and regulations regarding environment and public safety in flats. Partitions are not allowed without the Municipality permission.”

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John 11 years ago

Its like cutting the head as it's having headache. Instead of fixing the fire fighting set up and encouraging fire retardant material, they are driving away poor people. They are poor because of the dismal salaries paid by locals. Shame on them, they are doing it to encourage the "soon to die" real estate sector.

Kenneth 11 years ago

one thing is for 20 labourers to share one villa and another is to have 3 single professionals sharing a villa, 1 per bedroom. This black and white draconian behaviour should be far more transparent. So what about Emirates crew? are they going to have to stop sharing accomodation like they do now? 1 crew member per villa and flat? talk about raising costs... These is another reason for this crackdown that is not being mentioned by the authorities... they should come clean however, do it within the framwork of international law and stop running on the thin line of human rights violations.

BV 11 years ago

I agree that there should not be 3-8 families sharing a villa, or even more than 1 if it was not designed for the purpose. But what harm is done by 3 or 4 professionals sharing a 3 or 4 bedroom villa in a residential area? We all know this is just another superficial way to get more of the empty flats occupied to be able to maintain ridiculously high rental prices soaring across Dubai.

Maria 11 years ago

I can just say, Thank God it's winter! Imagine if this 'lovely' campaign was carried out during the summer months, for example. I agree with Kenneth. There is a big difference between overcrowding in labourers' accommodation, for example, of the sharing of a villa in the Lakes, Ranches, wherever by working professionals. In the former case, authorities should talk to the companies that hire these people and force them to live in such horrible conditions. 10 people in a one bedroom apartment should probably be a no-no, but it is clear that sharing should NOT be taken out altogether. If it will, let's see how many people will be left living in the Marina, for example. If they don't want people to share, okay - let's try and bring down the prices ....

Michael 11 years ago

This law only applies in the city, NOT in gated communities like Emirates Hills, Meadows, Springs, etc. Gated communities have their own rules and regulations for accommodation. While I agree that there is a difference between having basically a labour camp in a villa and having 3 professionals sharing a villa in separate bedrooms, the law must be strict to avoid scams. Having a few professionals share a villa is not a safety risk, having 20 people share a 3BR villa is. But all in all, I agree with this rule as my friend lived in Umm Suquiem (single female) and lived next door to about 15 labourers in the next villa and they always would stare at her. Not a comfortable feeling for her. She moved after her 1 year was up to another area because of this.

shilu 11 years ago

What if thee professional bachelors are sharing a three bedroom apartment without any partitions, are they going to be vacated from the villa?! Yes they will cut the power and ask them to vacate the villa because the rule has no clear definition or boundaries. Like the environment is quoted as one of the reason to kick out people from shared accommodation... how such scenario like the one I have in my comment will have impact on environment?! Are they going to produce more waste water beyond the capacity of Dubai's only treatment station if they live in shared accommodation! Would they produce less waste water if they live in none shared accommodation!

rasha 11 years ago

I've read that the same would happen in Abu Dhabi, and saw a Municipality notification to villas to remove extra built divisions from villas. Could you please investigate this for us.

Thunderclap Newman 11 years ago

I really would like to know if Mr Abdul Rahman, Head of Building Inspection Section in the Dubai Municipality Buildings Department, or anybody else in authority reads these sorts of comments; I sincerely hope they do. To me this ruling is a completely unnecessary disruption and major social problem for those families who trying to work and live together in a sensible and practical way. What does DM want - that everyone should live in single accommodation? Think about it people - all the empty apartments and villas coming onto to the market imminently - how are they going to fill them and keep rental income at the level they have managed to manipulate it to now. Are you aware of the number of people starting to leave this country just now and why? It's because of this sort of interference in our daily lives; the huge lift in the cost of rents; the downturn in work and redundancies arising from the global financial crash. Every day there are hundreds of children being withdrawn from schools as a result of parents losing their jobs and having to leave the country; what does that mean for the economy?

Sergei 11 years ago

a mistake to cut off power to those breaking the rules. They will then resort to using more dangerous methods to heat and light their villas and cause more fires. Better the authorities do something different to keep things reasonable as we don't want 100's in one house but too much dictatorship is wrong.

Cher 11 years ago

Mr. Abdul Rahman, please note that not all expats have the same salaries as the others, why would we want to share a villa with other families if we can afford one for ourselves. I have five children, three I send for school, we have moved to dubai hoping we can have a better life, but it seems that DM is trying to lead our lives miserable because of this new ruling " one family, one family".How can one afford like me a 150k rent for a villa? Please Mr. Rahman, not all people are like you who bags a good sum of salary, we are just struggling to make ends meet, but if you continue with this ruling, more and more people will leave dubai .