Guest Posts, Link Building, SEO, Pay-Per-Click campaigns
Advanced Search
Rebecca's Archive

The “killer villa” crisis - By Rebecca Wicks

I may have offered my wise words/general uninvited rantings about property and housing situations in the city last week, but mark my words, if you�re a citizen of Dubai at the moment, there is little else on everyone�s lips. If you�re reading from afar, you may not have heard about the new rules, which state that unless you�re a family you can no longer share accommodation in one of Dubai�s many villas.

Dubai Municipality appear to be acting rather like heartless swines about the whole thing. All manner of people, from every colour, culture and occupation have written to the press about how they�ll soon be forced to live on the streets, once they�re ushered out of their homes. But does the Dubai Municipality care? Does it HECK! Are they offering temporary accommodation while Dubai�s lovely people find their feet in light of their sudden sticky situation? Are they HECK!

Some people in Karama and parts of Umm Seqeim are currently surviving like squatters, having had their electricity cut off as a warning. Others have just given up, thrown in the towel and gone home � back to countries they formerly abandoned for the dream of a better life. Dubai was once a welcoming embrace, a friendly face, a head-start in the career-race. Now it just looks like a monster. Sounds harsh? Well harsh it is, people. To many who�ve struggled and battled for their right to stay, in spite of spiraling costs and five-star domination, it�s a total slap in the face.

It makes me very sad in fact. I am fortunate enough, like many others, to live in a nice home, and write a column every week about the �troubles� Dubai sometimes brings me, like a bad manicure or an unruly kitten who refuses to love us, even though we�ve given it a refuge from the sandy streets (it�s hiding behind the fridge as I type). But the people who are laying the foundations; the builders, the bakers, the pedicure makers are being forced out, thanks to rising rental costs and silly new rules. As one of the more fortunate expats of the UAE, it saddens me greatly to think of how this city might treat me, did I not have a salary and lifestyle that contributed greatly to its bigger, gold-encrusted dream.

Some people are now having to move to Sharjah. Now, if you don�t live here and you�re reading as a prospective visitor or expat, living in Sharjah and working in Dubai is to many what living in Slough and working in London might equate to. Or, living in Hoboken and commuting to Manhattan. Actually maybe not, Hoboken�s quite cool these days, but I digress. Sharjah is not an ideal place for people who have for years been living in Satwa and paying 3,000 AED a month for a room. Satwa is a hub. Sharjah? Well� �hole� would be a better word. Not that that�s even the issue. Inner-city dwellers have spent years building a life here. Why should they have to leave thanks to nothing more than greed?

Yes, greed is another word on everyone�s lips. The municipality have informed us that evacuating people sharing villas is essential, because they are straining our public resources and causing health and safety issues. No one can argue with that I suppose. However, expats living in villas, in one room per person, paying all the bills and living in perfect safety have also been given their marching orders. So we�re wondering, all of us, how unsafe or unhealthy is the current state really, and how much do they just want us all out and into all those unoccupied high-rise apartment buildings, which cost between 6,000 and 7,000 AED a month per room? How much do they care about creating �family-only� villas, as opposed to pushing more single, high-earners into forking out big bucks on all these wonderful new developments that haven�t got us as enthusiastic as they expected?

I�m not exactly sure what all these means for Dubai, in the long run. If it�s an aim to make us invest and stay longer, it�s a funny way of going about it. Sometimes I reckon it�s all too much to think about, let alone begin a debate over. Maybe I should just concentrate on getting the kitten out from behind the fridge and leave the Municipality to sort things out. One way or the other.

Posted: 28 September 2008

  All fields are mandatory
Your Name
Your Comments
 Max 250 characters - Word Count :
Image Verification
Change Image

More Info
Tell us what you think about this article. Email us here.
Who is Rebecca Wicks? Read about her.
Little Corn, Nicaragua - a world away from Dubai
Building a house in Costa Rica The day I became a diver...
Chilling out in the desert – An Al Maha escape Defining the meaning of Supper Club
Colour me good, with therapy.... The cost of living in pastures new....
If I was Paris Hilton’s best friend.... Time flies, it’s been fun, but....
My name Blackberry, er, .... A tailor-made treat for the masses
Dive in movies and other summer hot stuff... Getting down to business class
Petty crime and British pigs... Superhero midgets, big clubs and Barsha...
The highs and lows of JBR Walk A Weekend in Yemen...
Cat-woman and the solo living plan... Totally Addicted To Twilight...
Confessions from a tech-widow... Geese and guilt-free cookery...
The Friday Harbour brunch high Cirque du Soleil – more than a trip to the circus
To tweet or not to tweet? How to work the circuit (and leave)
Money and the monkeys... Sofa, so good
Getting intimate with the Woman in Black Hair today, gone tomorrow - Dubai’s best kept style secret
Orphans and the hands of fate England, Dubai and the theory of Pie
Fisherman’s Friends, Fois Gras & The Harbour’s new high Solidarity, skyscrapers and a surprising lack of NY resolutions
A lazy, hazy Christmas at the orphanage The 22 degrees of Christmas
Spinach, tigers and the invisible tarantula... Raindrops keep falling on my head...
When is savoury sweet? When it’s at the Westin... The word on the street is... fireworks
Re-biting the Big Apple... A Living Cat-astrophe
Squirrels, lumberjacks and kneecaps The BBC - but not as you know it…
Beards of a Feather Flock Together Round the clock bites and delights
Jolie-Pitts - paving the way for families? The brunch bunch
What's bugging us? The contest giving camels the hump
The cleaning man who never was Come az*u*r and taste the organic side to Dubai
The 7 day detox (and other dilemmas) Swimming with the fishes…
The frog and the impossible flat hunt… High School and the make-believe grandfather
Observing the holy month Living in 5* squalor
HONG KONG; from the Middle to the Far East The horse and the not-so-mad Inventor
Mother Nature's Revenge Indian Enlightenment
Lobster season's almost here… What a difference a lunch-break makes…
Ten run away to the mountains... Confessions of a nail-biter
Nakheel – Masters of 'The Universe' When good public transport systems go bad
Dubai Dreams and the impossible boxing... Plane talking...
Prelude to a punch up The quake that rocked a nation…
Renting, ranting and the international flat-hunt… Letting us in on The Secret
A Shock to "the system" The greatest discovery of all
Theatrical flashbacks and forgotten dreams... The killer villas
Terminal thoughts... The 7 day detox (and other dilemmas)

Back to top

Hotels hotels Check out Hotels in Dubai
Shopping shopping A complete Mall & Store Guide
Dining dining Eating out at the coolest spots
Sightseeing sightseeing Things to see & do
DCG Recommends dcg recommends Best of the best in Entertainment
News Alerts
News Alerts
Stay ahead with dubai news
dcg mobile
dcg Mobile
With you wherever you go
rss feed
RSS Feeds
Get the latest
dubai blog
Dubai Blog
Your space, your voice
DCG at a glance