Families living in the posh Jumeirah 1 area are worried about the locality turning into a bachelor’s paradise.
HA, an Emirati in Jumeirah 1 says his family may be one of the few remaining in the area. “The area has become a bachelor area, and this has a negative impact on Jumeirah 1,” he says.
Originally, Jumeirah was one of the first choice for families. At a far distance from the busy Bur Dubai and Deira areas, villas were constructed for people who wanted a new, more exclusive lifestyle.
HA was born on the beach-kissed land strip, but although other parts of Jumeirah have maintained their prestige, Jumeirah 1 has turned into a problem, believes the Emirati.
“It is not about nationality, do not get me wrong. But the villas in Jumeirah 1 were never designed to be inhabited by bachelors; these are family villas.”
According to HA, some villas are occupied by 50 bachelors or more. “They share one room with sometimes 10 people. The villas have been restructured to create as many such rooms as possible. “Instead of open spaces, you will find improvised walls that make the property into parted rooms.
“One of the main issues arising from the overpopulation is an overload on the drainage system.
“These drainage systems were constructed to serve family-sized occupation. In addition, there is a lack of parking places.”
A spot visit to parts of the area did reveal a foul smell. However, the bachelor tenants are happy.
“I live in this room with four other people.
“One of us has signed a contract, but we share the rent. We pay Dh500 each. I am happy with this place,” says a young Japanese man asked not to be named.
Renting out property to bachelors in a family-designated area is a violation, according to Dubai Municipality.
“When the Building Inspection Section inspected the area in June 2011, 84 bachelor residence violations were reported,” says Murtada Abdel Razig, Building Inspection Engineer of the Inspection Section, Building Department of Dubai Municipality.
“Dubai Municipality inspectors issue violation notices with fines on first visit, if the situation confirms that bachelors are living within districts designated for single family residency.”
HA is still a worried man.
“The families that live here do not feel safe now. Women are worried. Even our maid does not want to go out in the evening and I cannot blame her,” the man says.
The area is also a popular tourist attraction. Every day tourists come to visit the famous Jumeirah Mosque.
According to Murtada, fines are issued to the landlords only if the conditions of the tenancy contract are not sufficiently specified. Other than that, the fine is for the tenant.
But according to HA, the problem is with the owners of the villas. “The owners of these villas have moved away from the area and allow brokers to rent out their property.
“These brokers do not care about the living conditions; they just want to make money. They do not comply with any of the rules.”
160 neglected buildings in Dubai face demolition
Dubai Municipality has given owners of abandoned buildings, houses and yards in the emirate two weeks’ from the receipt of notice for necessary maintenance work or demolition, stressing the need to do so before municipality removes them without referring to them.
In this case, the owner has to pay the cost of demolition in addition to the 20 per cent administrative expense.
Jaber Al Ali, Head of Buildings Inspection Section, said that abandoned buildings deform the landscape and could become a place of crime or used negatively by unknown persons.
Jaber said the municipality conducted checks in all areas of the emirate, which resulted in the discovery of 160 buildings in Deira and Bur Dubai.
“The municipality has already warned, through ads and newspapers, the land owners to act within two weeks from the date of declaration by executing maintenance and closing the doors and make sure that the strangers are not able to enter into these buildings,” he said.
“Most of the owners have already cooperated with municipality to carry out maintenance and renovation of houses, but some owners are suffering from problems relating to inheritance, and some buildings were waiting for the judgement. In such cases, the owners of these properties are granted enough additional time before taking any action, provided to submit supporting papers and documents, he added.
He also called upon the owners of those buildings to refer to the municipality at the earliest to follow up on their property to avoid the demolition and removal by the municipality.