UAE: Bachelors Evicted from Family Areas in Umm al Qaiwain



Bachelors evicted from family areas in Umm al Qaiwain

Sanif Salahudin and Sajeel Shakku at one of the shared villas in Umm Al Qaiwain. Pawan Singh / The National

UMM AL QAIWAIN - JAN 21: Bachelors living in residential areas designated for families have been told they have one month to get out.

Municipal inspectors have been handing out eviction notices to single men residing in family villas in areas such as Salaama, Eisa, Shaabiya, Frij Mualla, Hamriya. They have until February 15 to leave.

The inspectors are also warning the owners of these properties that they will be fined Dh1,000 (US$270) if they are still found to be housing bachelors after that date.

Landlords who fail to evict bachelors after being fined also face having the water and electricity at the villas switched off.

Mohammed al Mulla, the head of workers’ affairs at the municipality, said these areas were for families and the presence of large numbers of single men was causing “social problems”.

He said the problem was especially bad in Eisa.

“We found a big villa housing about 218 workers in Eisa area, each room was housing about eight workers.

“This, besides being in a place of families alone, was also in violation of workers’ rights and living conditions as the municipality had stated that the maximum number of workers that can stay in a room is four,” he said.

Umm al Qaiwain is following other emirates in separating the residences of bachelors from families.

Dubai launched its “one villa, one family” rule in 2008, and has threatened landlords renting out their villas to more than one family with fines of up to Dh50,000.

Mr al Mulla said the displaced bachelors could move to areas such as the industrial area and the old part of Umm al Qaiwain.

He said a letter had been sent to estate agents warning them they would be fined if they continued to put single men in areas designated for families.

Mr al Mulla described some of the problems the bachelors were creating.

“When a woman passes them, they stare at her until she disappears from sight, which is an embarrassment to some women especially in the Muslim culture,” he said.

Having so many men from different backgrounds under the same roof often caused friction among the housemates, he added.

“Some bachelors in their rooms are so dirty, they don’t want to shower, and smell. Some also strip naked in sight of their roommates,” he said.

Mohammed al Zarouni, 35, an Emirati who has lived in Umm al Qaiwain for more than 10 years, claimed the mix of families and bachelors had made the emirate more dangerous.

“Earlier UAQ was very safe, even for ladies to walk during the night. But now things have changed and yesterday somebody approached my neighbour’s daughter and tried to grab her hand, but she was able to run away,” he said.

One engineer from a construction company, who did not wish to be named, said there were not enough labour camps in the emirate, leaving workers from his firm with little choice but to live in villas in Salaama.

Bachelors approached by The National yesterday said they had heard rumours about the evictions, but had not yet received formal notice.

Sajeel Shaku, 29, an Indian taxi driver, said he would consider relocating to Sharjah if he was evicted because there was better bachelors’ accommodation there. “The good thing is I have my car, so I can stay wherever I want, if the municipality decides they no longer want us here,” he said.

Sajeel said he shares a small, two-room villa in Shaabiya with six other workers, each paying Dh1,300 a month. Their villa is between two houses occupied by families.

One of Sajeel’s roommates and a fellow taxi driver, Sanif Salahudin, 22, said their landlord was desperate for tenants of any description as the recession had left many of his units empty. “We have already told him we are going to pay just Dh1,000 from next month and he accepted. Now if they evict us, where will he get families?”

All buildings in capital must have guards, says ministry


ABU DHABI - JAN 21: Private security guards will eventually have to be stationed outside every building in the capital, from small apartment blocks to sprawling factories, the Ministry of Interior has ordered.

Col Ahmed al Hantoubi, the director of the private security business department at the ministry, said a federal law to that effect was introduced in 2008 to improve the response to safety and security hazards, but is only now being enforced for large non-residential buildings, such as factories and banks.

Ultimately, he said, all buildings would have to follow suit, and enforcement would start in Abu Dhabi.

“It will take a long time, so we are focusing now on instilling in people the culture of safety and security, to encourage them to train watchmen. Enforcing the law will depend on how successful our awareness efforts are, because it is complicated and will involve a lot of sectors,” he said.

“Surely if there is a security guard, it will be better for buildings. A security guard will be well-trained and can deal with fires, crimes. They know how to report them, to control the fire, provide information on the crime or how to step up to help.

“In the Ministry of Interior, we are fully convinced that a security guard is better than the current watchman. Watchmen are merely doing maintenance and cleaning. He doesn’t have basic training on security and safety, especially for large buildings.”

Some watchmen said it would be unfair to add to their duties, and were worried they would be replaced rather than retrained.

Mohammed Hamdi, 27, a watchman from Egypt, who works at a building near Al Wahda Mall, said having a security guard was “impractical”. He said although he tried hard to monitor who entered the building, it was not always possible because he had to deal with other things.

“The other issues are part of my job,” Mr Hamdi said. “It is difficult, for cultural considerations, to practise access control on the building. Tenants always have guests and large numbers of them. It is considered rude to stop someone and ask them where they are going.”

If the law is fully enforced, he said, he would get training in private security and continue with his job – or find work elsewhere.

“I assume landlords would provide training for us, not just abandon us for other people,” he said.

Col al Hantoubi said the first step, under way now, was informing landlords about the new requirements. Most were unprepared to deploy private security guards, he said.

Security experts believe the law will lead to safer buildings and, ideally, a greater sense of security for people living and working in them.

Abu Mahmoud, 36, from Algeria, who works in the safety industry, said the change could specifically improve fire safety in the capital. He said it was important for buildings to have a trained security officer not only to act in an emergency but also to reassure people that they were safe. “It is key to have someone who is qualified to act wisely in the event of fire. Buildings should have safety equipment, but they should also have someone who could actually use them,” Mr Mahmoud said. “In addition to the private security guard, buildings should also have someone who oversees maintenance in those buildings. Having a private security guard serves as a reassurance to people that their building is under qualified and trained hands.”

Abu Ramzi, a 38-year-old engineer from Egypt, said having a private security guard in front of the building in which he lives would solve some issues.

For instance, he said, there is a flat where young men act “indecently” by bringing women into the building.

“Most of the tenants of the building are families, and what [the young men] do is against the law,” Mr Ramzi said. “The watchman is mostly doing other tasks, such as taking care of the lift, cleaning or helping tenants fix things in their flat.

“I think a security officer would prevent those young people from disrespecting other tenants.”

Under current regulations, private security guards are not allowed to do any non-security work during their shifts. Prof Peter Darcy, the chief executive of the National Security Institute (NSI), said the regulation aimed to keep officers more focused on security tasks.

“In the past, guards used to do other jobs in addition to their security job. Now if the police find a guard doing other jobs, they fine them,” Prof Darcy said.

The NSI was set up in 2001 by the Ministry of Interior to serve as an oversight body for private security in the country. In February 2009, the ministry decided that all security companies must have an operating licence and send their staff for training at NSI.

Police officer admits cash theft

DUBAI - JAN 21: A female Emirati police officer at Dubai International Airport confessed in court that she stole Dh4,300 (US$1,170) from a wallet held in the lost-item section.

The wallet belonged to HK, a 26-year-old Indian businessman, and was lost when the owner went through a security check.

Seven arrested after Dh2.9m diamond theft

DUBAI - JAN 21:  Dubai Police arrested seven people on Sunday for allegedly stealing diamonds, cash and gold worth more than Dh2.9 million (US$790,000) from an office in Al Rifa’a.

The stolen items included diamonds worth Dh2.5 million, Dh220,000 in cash and a golden statue worth Dh200,000. The statue was the only item not recovered.

Police are also searching for an eighth suspect who is believed to have fled to a neighbouring country.

The suspects allegedly attacked the building’s security guard and tied him up.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: UAE: Bachelors Evicted from Family Areas in Umm al Qaiwain

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.