News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Rents in capital to dip by 2009

ABU DHABI — Dec. 23: The spiralling rents of residential units in Abu Dhabi will be arrested in 2009 when new housing units are expected to enter the market, according to Juma Mohammed Al Mansouri, Head of Rents Section at the Department of Social Services and Commercial Buildings (DSSCB).

Al Mansouri said the DSSCB had awarded the National Bank of Abu Dhabi a number of new construction projects for execution in three years.

“These mega projects will cover all internal and external parts of Abu Dhabi, bringing in more residential units and commercial shops on the supply side,” he said adding that increase in the number of units on offer will definitely push rents down.

He said the new tenancy law in Abu Dhabi had set the increase in rent value at 7 per cent per year.

According to him, the law will ensure that landlords do not need to chase tenants or demand any increases while the rents committee turns down any unjustifiable hike in rents, thus keeping the rents under control.

The committee can also reduce the rent value in a certain area if supply outpaces demand, he added.

On the draw system to rent vacant units, he said: “The draw will continue to be in place to select new tenants. Draws became necessary to foil attempts by real estate offices to apply for apartments and shops and then sublet them at double the rent. Under this system, the DSSCB makes sure that the applicant is the real tenant.”

Over the past three months, 488 apartments and shops had been rented under the draw system with 2300 applicants vying for them.


Stricter penalties for unruly drivers

DUBAI — Dec. 23: Starting January next year, there is likely to be an increase in traffic fines in Dubai and other emirates. The fines for serious traffic offences will now range between Dh1,000 and 3,000. The move is part of the drive to rein in unruly drivers.

Talking to Khaleej Times, Major-General Saif Abdullah Al Shafar, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, said plans were afoot to enforce strict penalties on reckless drivers. The traffic safety committee has prepared a plan that also aims at controlling traffic movement besides enforcing penalties.

Al Shafar said the committee was continuously evaluating the risks posed by motorists indulging in violations such as jumping red light, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. However, the steady increase in the number of vehicles in the emirates, besides causing traffic snarls, has also led to increase in traffic accidents, forcing the authorities to slap harsh fines on erring motorists.

Meanwhile, Dubai Police Chief Lt-Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim has confirmed that there will be a hike in traffic fines in the new year.


Man jumps to death in bid to escape arrest

DUBAI — Dec. 23: A Ugandan national died after jumping from the balcony of his apartment early morning yesterday in an attempt to flee the police. The building is located near Taj Studio on Naif Road.

Police had raided the apartment as part of its crackdown on illegal residents. The man, identified as Lwayanga Hashim Madilu, had his visit visa expired in February this year.

According to a reliable source, the 33-year-old man was inside his apartment when CID officials knocked on his door at around 3.30am. Sensing it was a police raid, Madilu made a desperate attempt to flee by rushing to the balcony and jumping out. He fell on the windscreen of a car parked below, and tumbled down to the ground, the source said.

An eyewitness said the man was lying on the road in a pool of blood until the police shifted him to Maktoum Hospital. However, he succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital.

Ismail Kikomeko, Chairman of African Community Association, said the man’s body will be sent to his native place after completion of legal proceedings.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested around 30 illegal residents, most of them of African and Asian origin, from the building, Khaleej Times has learnt.

A police source disclosed that the raid was conducted on a tip-off that the building had become a haven for illegal residents.

Those arrested have reportedly been detained at the police headquarters in Al Qusais.

It is learnt that the police had also conducted a raid last week in a building located in the same area and had arrested 80 illegal residents, mostly of African origin.

Sources estimate that over 500 people of African origin have been arrested and deported since the beginning of this month. They are expected to be deported soon.


Steer clear of parking meant for special needs people: RTA

DUBAI — Dec. 23: Engineer Maitha Mohammed bin Adai, the CEO of the Traffic and Roads Agency in the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), urged drivers to be compassionate and give preference to people with special needs.

“We can benefit from the energies of the people of the special needs if we remove barriers to their movement and ensure easy access to places,” she said.

Stating that everyone should recognise the right of the disabled to a decent life, she asked people not to usurp the car parking meant for the special needs people.

The RTA official said the parking for special needs people should be located in such a way that they have easy access to lifts and main entrances. The parking area should be coloured to indicate that it was an area meant for the people of the special needs, she added.

A sticker indicating that the car was being driven by a special needs person should be placed on rear and front of the car,  she said.  

Engineer Salah Al-Din Al Marzouqi, Deputy Director of the Traffic Department in the Traffic and Road Agency, clarifying on rules meant for people with special needs, said 1.3 per cent of the total parking places should be allocated to them. The parking allocated to them should be friendly so that they can reach the elevator and main entrance on a wheelchair, he said.

Marine transportation
Meanwhile, RTA has invested Dh21 million in developing the infrastructure of internal marine transportation, said an official from the RTA’s Marine Agency.

Engineer Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari of the Marine Agency said, “The investment includes construction of six stations comprising 24 floating docks in order to enhance security and safety levels in embarkation and disembarkation.”

He added, “Moreover, installations and stations will be renovated at a cost of Dh1 million annually. Stations and docks will be kept clean 24 hours a day throughout the week and guidance boards shall be provided in several languages in all stations displaying full information about security and safety procedures, fees, etc.”



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