Monday, February 02, 2009

It's our fault again.

We got it wrong again, causing ourselves unnecessary problems.

I can't believe how many times we get things wrong, misunderstand the facts, cause unnecessary problems for ourselves and others.

We caused problems for the RTA over Salik. We caused problems for the EIDA over the ID card.

Now we've misunderstood the 'One Villa - One Family' campaign.

We believed that 'one villa one family' meant, well, 'one villa one family'...but of course it didn't.

We misunderstood.

There is no "one villa, one family" rule in Dubai and the campaign against overcrowded villas has been misunderstood, a top civil official said on Sunday(February 1st).

In our defence I suppose our lack of understanding - and I know it's pushing the boundaries of credibility - but it just may have been based on the earlier official announcements and the facts on the ground.

The campaign was launched in April. By July there were reports that:

Families living in shared villa accommodations in the Jumeirah-1 and Abu Hail areas have been asked to vacate under Dubai Municipality's ongoing 'One Villa-One Family' campaign.

Since the launch of the campaign in April, almost 2,400 eviction notices have been served to families living in villas in the Rashidiya area, and water and electricity supply to 280 villas have been disconnected.

In September I reproduced a DM advertisement which clearly stated that within thirty days from that announcement it was obligatory to vacate multi-families.

And then on October 3, 2008:

The Municipality’s ‘One Villa, One Family’ campaign kicked off this week with inspectors combing through villas in Al Rashidiya area, an official said.

"We study every case individually. However, the rule we enforce is one family per villa.

"Family only refers to immediate family, as in father, mother, spouse, children, brother and sister. No uncles, cousins or in-laws."

He added that if the brother or sister of the resident was married and had his family living in the same house, then even that would be considered a violation of the law.

In November we read that:

Dubai Municipality is cutting power and water to as many as 200 villas a week in an attempt to evict people who are sharing homes, but some of the tenants are defying authorities and illegally reconnecting services, a senior official said yesterday.

I'm going to plead mitigating circumstances for my stupidity in thinking that this meant there was a rule that families cannot share accommodation.

You see, the campaign was entitled 'One Villa - One Family' and a senior official specified exactly how closely related family members needed to be to qualify. Services were cut off, people were evicted and fines up to Dh50,000 were imposed under the rule.

We stupidly misunderstood it all.

February 1st, 2009:

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said the municipality did not have any problem with more than one family living in a villa, provided it was big enough.

"The municipality has started a campaign against overcrowding in villas to ensure the safety and security of residents."

Now do you understand?

Families evicted.

Clarification of what a family means.

DM cuts off 200 villas a week.

There is no rule.


erikb said...

the moment i have heard about such policy "clarification" this morning, i quickly browsed to ur blog, to see how you would react, but u havent written yet.

i checked again this afternoon and enjoyed reading it. lol.

continue writing, i bookmarked your blog! :)

Grumpy Goat said...

Spot on, Seabee!

I saw the headline and was going to write a researched blog about this very subject, but you're well ahead of me.

Seabee said...

erikb, thank you.

Mr Goat, don't let the fact that I've posted about it stop you from doing so. I shall look forward to reading your rants about it!

CG said...

well done, I knew you would do it

Keefieboy said...

If I hadn't lived through this kind of DISINGENUOUS TOSH in the UAE, I'd be tempted to say you'd made it up. Absolute drivel. Sheesh.

rosh said...


Dave said...

Obviously the DM Inspectors also "misunderstood" the rule as well. They door-knocked many areas of Dubai in their heavy-handed tactics of throwing people out of shared villa's and onto the streets.

I know of 3 cases personally whereby this misunderstanding resulted in eviction notices being served. One of these was as little as 3 days notice to remove a family in Rashidiya.

This whole debacle would be laughable if the consequences of the Govt's actions weren't so serious.

Misunderstood, what a load of garage Mr Director!!!!!

Mars said...

of course it's our fault. they never make any mistakes.

ZeTallGerman said...

Credibility... that's what it comes down to... and the utter LACK of it.

"Buy property = get residence visa for life"... NOPE!
"Low property maintenance fees"... Ehm, NO, developers increased these by 100+%.
"Property owners exempt from 5% Municipality rental fee"... oops, wrong again.
"VAT to replace 5% Customs Duty in 2009"... so, where is it?
"Burj Dubai promises 2008 New Year's mega-party"... where was it?
"Car sharing allowed by RTA"... it's impossible to get a permit.
"New ID card mandatory for Nationals & professionals by 31 Dec 2008"... that didn't work either.
"Beach sewage problem fixed"... yeah, right, like I trust your word! The water may be clear but who tested the contaminated sand?

Anonymous said...

Here is one more update .....
I was lesioning 103.8 Radio City and they have exclusive interview from Dubai government office that News Papers miss understand there is still "One Family One Villa" rule, but villa can be share amount relatives by obtaining permosion from Govt ..............

Seabee said...

Anon@1.28, yes I heard that clarification of the clarification which clarified the earlier clarification.

As I now understand it there is and there is not a one villa one family rule. If you live in a villa which has a permit for more than one family then more than one family can live in it provided there is no overcrowding or unauthorised partitioning. But if, I've got myself confused again. I'm going to lie down now.

MaryAnn said...

Hi, came across this blog when i was searching for a photo of a ghaf tree.

Anyway, i believe the Dubai authorities changed their minds just to keep people in the country because of the current economic downturn. Everything isso expensive here now and I've heard people are leaving by the droves.

What do you think?

Seabee said...

What do you think?

MaryAnn, good old fashioned incompetence. It happens regularly, there's no conspiracy.

Misunderstand the objective, action without thought, constantly change the decision until it's more or less workable or just eventually forget the whole thing and it goes away.

WebJunky said...

eh, it's like a leaf on a windy day, it blows left when the wind makes it, it goes right when the wind blows right.....

SK said...

Even though I do not live in UAE but being a human being, this sounds pretty stupid to me. Overcrowding is a separate matter and barring the families from living together is another thing.

They don't see the pros of living in a joint family system (if you are compatible with each other), you save on groceries, utilities, transportation costs for school, housekeeping, maintenance, etc, etc, etc.

I recall when I was young, my father, my grandparents, his brother used to live in the same house. We had 8 rooms in all accommodating 14 people. Everyone lived happily we were not disturbed by any sort of municipality authority figures.