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29 July, 2006

Crowded house

The family of 54 living in a one-bedroom villa in Al Ain is sad but not suprising. Rents are now so high in the UAE, with no parallel rises in salaries, that poorer locals and expats alike are living in third world conditions:

One bedroom, a small hall, a tiny bathroom and corridor converted into a kitchen, serve as the house for a family of 54 members.

Saad Gubaish Al Yehyaey said: "we are a very big family and live in this small and old house which itself needs to be demolished and rebuilt."


A media associate recently viewed a villa at the Meadows, to find it was currently being inhabited by five Indian families including numerous children:

"It was a three bedroom villa. They had a family in each bedroom, plus one in the study, and one in the maid's room. They even had a sofabed set up on the landing."

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14 Comments:

Blogger marwan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29 July, 2006 08:14  
Blogger marwan said...

Not the slightest bit surprising. Come to Bur Dubai and I'll show living arrangements you'd think scarely possible.

In the opposite flat live the entire staff of a nearby restaurant - about 20 people (including the owner and her family) in just two bedrooms. The hallway is used as a storeroom for restaurant supplies. (So our building has a rat problem).

Downstairs, three Indian families share the same size two bedroom flat (one having converted the living room).

Go outside, bachelors live a minimum of eight to a room, and we've started to see them putting bunk beds in the hallways of flats now.

Some people use 'alternate day' arrangements - to halve their rent they sleep in the flat every other day. sleeping on road benches or alleyways or wandering around most of the night.

Old villas are by far more popular, you can squeeze about 30 into the average two b/r. Pakistanis are also willing sometimes to sleep on the roofs, so that's another 8 up there.

People were not meant to live like this.

29 July, 2006 08:15  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

That's really interesting Marwan. I'd like to know how far upwards this rent problem has trickled. We've always known that restaurant workers and ancient-Nissan-Sunnied, polyester-tied salespeople have suffered - but what about our media execs, Terrible Publications journalists, PR people - are they feeling the hurt too?

29 July, 2006 08:46  
Blogger Taunted said...

I do like crowded house - always bring the weather with you!

I'm singing it now!

29 July, 2006 09:00  
Blogger Jassim said...

Locals living like Indians? Welcome to the real world.

29 July, 2006 09:47  
Blogger marwan said...

So locals aren't meant to live like Indians?

29 July, 2006 11:00  
Blogger ahmed said...

I dont think 'rent' in Al Ain is such a big issue. Lots of people work in Dubai and live in Al Ain. Sharjah to Dubai takes 1-2 hours. Al Ain to Dubai takes 1hr 15mins minus traffic jams. Best for those working in the Jebel Ail free-zones.
I dont think this news article is about rents.
What is being highlighted is the story of the broke local family, in Abu Dhabi, which has the highest per capita income in the whole world.

29 July, 2006 12:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karama is a perfect example and one has to realize that the number of new flats that have been built in the span of 10 years cannot be accounted for much in comparison to the crowd and the traffic that has increased in the past 3 years, then where and how people are staying?

29 July, 2006 14:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not surprised either , come to gold souq area , and you can see 12 people to a room , and worse than that , somalis have the guts and ability to sleep as much members as the room can accomodate even if it means sleeping on top of each other .

29 July, 2006 14:42  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

Perhaps it is time to suggest that people don't start families unless they are able to bear the financial responsibilities like housing; at the very least, stop breeding like bunnies when you live in a city.

29 July, 2006 17:16  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

Sharjah to Dubai takes 1-2 hours.

used to be 15 mins when I lived there (from Al Khan in Sharjah to Deira)... what happened?

29 July, 2006 17:18  
Blogger kaya said...

Oh I say!
Family planning, birth control, I guess they missed out on that episode.

31 July, 2006 10:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now nobody is staying in their flat .there is not space to sit or take rest, what they will be out side always. it will increase traffic ..

18 August, 2006 22:27  
Anonymous moonlighter said...

Rents in Dubai and neighbouring emirates is still the hottest topic, even after Shk Mo's announcement that henceforth rents will not be allowed to increase more than 15% each year.
Despite rising costs and inflation, this seems to be at least better than letting the tenants reel under the demands of the landlords.
However, there seems to be a rumour doing the rounds that this rule of 15% is going to scrapped from December after the Eid. The reason? A real-estate lobby has been able to convince the people who matters, that this rule is severly hurting the real estate prices - thus reducing the profitability of newer real estate residential projects.
Is there anybody whao has heard similar rumour? How far is it true?
Do you have any addendum to this, SD?

22 August, 2006 21:48  

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