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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

No let-up in sub-letting trend

DUBAI — Feb. 18: The illegal sub-letting of apartments by unscrupulous tenants in Dubai and Sharjah has become a major concern for municipal officials in both emirates. However, municipal officials are now intensifying efforts to check this problem by launching surprise inspections, imposing heavy fines and ordering the eviction of defaulters.

They maintain, “Apart from being a major heath risk, sub-letting may also prove to be a major life risk as well.” The recent fire incident at the Al Buheirah Building in Sharjah which rendered 13 families homeless, they point out, was probably a direct consequence of sub-letting.

They added, six families were crowded in a single flat putting its various amenities under exceptional stress — which is what probably led to an electrical short circuit. The owner of the building had no clue that his flat had been sub-let.

Similar cases are on the rise in Dubai too.

According to municipal sources here, the sub-letting of apartments has become a very profitable business. Those allegedly involved in this lucrative but illegal ‘business’ are estimated to be easily making a profit of Dh5,000 to Dh6,000 per flat per month.

Illustrating the emerging trend, they said, on an average a two-bedroom flat on an annual rent of Dh45,000 (including water and electricity charges) may be sub-let to as many as eight or nine people. The cost of each single bed space may be Dh900 — including water and electricity charges. The original tenant, as such, if he sub-lets to nine persons secures a monthly rent of Dh. 8,100 per month. On that basis, in a year, the tenant gets approximately Dh98,000 — the net profit being approximately Dh45,000. There are tenants who may have sub-let five or six such flats.

Engineer Walid Abdul Karim of the Building Inspection Department at Dubai Municipality, said municipal officials were doing whatever they could to check this practice.

He disclosed, “We have also had various instances of villas being partitioned off and sub-let. This too is totally illegal,” he said.

“On an average we get around 10 to 15 complains daily from neighbours (mainly families) against bachelor tenants who usually occupy such sub-let space in apartments. Not surprisingly, we organize two or three surprise raids every week,” he added. 

“Earlier we received only about three to five such complaints per day. But now, for the past over one year, this has become an increasing trend. Whenever our inspectors find someone who has sub-let an apartment, they first scrutinise the tenancy contract.”

In most cases, he added, the landlord is totally unaware that his property has been sub-let by his tenant/s. However, in some cases tenants are known to have intimated their landlord in advance about the subletting — with the latter ‘conniving’ to accept a commission, in addition to the monthly rent. All such private arrangements are obviously unwritten and cannot be easily verified.”

“But when we do detect such cases, where the landlord is involved in the breach of law, we fine both the landlord and the original tenant Dh5,000 each and also cancel the tenancy contract. A recommendation is also sent to Dewa to disconnect the water and electricity supply.”

In cases where the landlord is totally unaware of the tenancy law violations, the landlord is asked to cancel the tenancy contract and a fine of Dh5,000 is imposed on the tenant — besides recommending legal prosecution.


Indian meat price likely to come down soon

DUBAI — Feb. 18:Consignments of boneless Indian mutton have started arriving in the UAE with India lifting the ban on mutton exports a couple of days ago, but the prices are very high, according to importers.

However, the prices are likely to return to normal in a couple of weeks, exporters say. “At present, one kg of boneless mutton is priced between Dh28 and Dh30. The same used to sell at Dh19 per kg,” said an official of Spinneys. According to importers, the situation will be improving soon.

“We are now supplying boneless Indian mutton. Consignments have started to enter the market after a long time. Most of the meat comes from New Delhi. The price rise was expected,” said an official of Al Taib Exports.

Officials of Choithram’s said they are yet to receive Indian mutton. “We would be selling it in a couple of days. The price would be high, but we expect it to return to normal in less than a month,” said an official. “It is good news that Indian mutton will be available in the market again. But then the price is very high,” said Mohammed Khuraishi, a resident of Dubai.


Accident info reaches family after 45 days

DUBAI — Feb. 18: The body of an African man, who was killed in a road accident last month, was kept at the General Department of Forensic Science for 45 days before his family was informed about his death, his sister has said.

Khaled Mohammed rented a car from Abu Dhabi and came to Dubai on January 2.

He was run over and killed by a car driven by an Arab national while he was trying to cross the road in Al Nasr Square on the same day.

He died on the spot and his body was taken to the General Department of Forensic Science.

Police said since they could not find any ID on the deceased, they took his fingerprints and sent letters to various police stations for further investigation.

After 45 days, the Naif police station called two of his friends when their numbers were found in his mobile handset.

They were asked to recognise his body.

They also called his family after which his sister, Aysha, came to the UAE to receive the body.


Abu Dhabi - Home from home for 400,000

Abu Dhabi - Feb. 18: Work has started to construct residential cities to accommodate 300,000 to 400,000 labourers working in construction and development projects in Abu Dhabi. The cities and complexes are to be constructed in the Al Mafraq area of the city. The first phase to accommodate 100,000 workers will be ready by the end of this year, and the last phase will be completed in 2008.


Dubai - Gang’s new victim

Dubai - Feb. 18: A restaurant worker was beaten with an iron bar by  a gang of youngsters and hospitalised as he walked in Satwa at the weekend. The incident is the latest to be reported to police following other unprovoked attacks in the same area in recent months. The latest victim, Hanifa, 36, said he was set upon by the mob as he walked to work on Friday night from his accommodation.

“Unfortunately I was singled out on the day. I noticed the teenage gang coming straight towards me. I kept my head down and continued walking since I sensed trouble. But they started to attack and beat me with wooden sticks. Then the elder one among them struck me over the head with an iron rod.”

The Indian national said the gang checked his pockets for something to steal as he lay defenceless on the ground.

“They became furious when they realised I had nothing worth stealing on me. They were actually enjoying attacking me,” he said. Hanifa’s assailants ran off as residents and storekeepers in the area came to help him. He was left bleeding profusely from a severe head wound. He was taken to Rashid Hospital where he was treated for cuts and bruising and was  given nine stitches for a head wound.

He later went to the Bur Dubai police station. “I did not register a complaint since I fear the gang would attack me again if I complained to the police,” said Hanifa. However, police assured him to call them whenever he spotted the gang and they would immediately attend the scene. Dubai Police confirmed the incident and said they are investigating the matter.

Towards the end of last year in the same area of Satwa another Indian was the victim of an unprovoked and violent attack by a gang of teenagers. The man had a stone smashed into his face and was partially blinded during the assault. Residents have told of unruly teenagers prowling the streets at night looking for trouble.




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