Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh good, another clarification!

An old one has popped up out of nowhere again.

One that we kept getting wrong, misunderstanding the very clear and concise statements and actions of officials.

Then we misunderstood the subsequent clear and concise clarifications from other officials.

So now we have another clear and concise clarification, clarifying all the previous clarifications.

We can be in doubt no longer. Everyone knows, as officials keep telling us.

Sorry, I should explain I'm talking about Dubai Municipality's 'one villa one family' rule.

Just to remind you so that you're clear about it all:

The campaign was launched in April 2008. It was officially called 'one villa one family'.

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 this DM advertisement which clearly states that within thirty days from that announcement it was obligatory to vacate multi-families.

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."

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."

Naturally we stupidly misunderstood it all. We misinterpreted all that as meaning that there was a 'one villa one family' law and that it was being enforced.

It obviously needed clarification so that we really understood the situation, which we received on February 1st, 2009:

"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.

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."

I was relieved that it was clarified for us at long last. There was no 'one villa one family' rule, it was simply a safety issue.

But then with so many previous examples of how we keep misunderstanding even the simplest statement from helpful officials, that obviously needed clarification. Just to make sure we all understood.

So that 'everybody knows'.

We have it today in The National:

"Dubai Municipality will intensify its one villa, one family campaign next month, and warned yesterday that families and landlords could face stiff fines for breaking the law. Hussain Nasser Lootah, the municipality’s director general, said penalties could hit Dh50,000 (US$13,000) for violators.

'We made this announcement two years ago, and it was made very clear that sharing villas would not be allowed,' Mr Lootah said. 'Now we have given enough time, and there will be no more exceptions.'"

I'm going to lie down now...

If you think I'm making it up I have an earlier posting on the subject, with links to the clarifications and all that. It's here.

And today's clarification in The National is here.


Siwash said...

Officials do not know what to do. They are facing a crisis and every decision they take has been met negatively. I enjoyed your sequential post. It must have been draining to dig up all those statements. :-)

Dave said...

If I hadn't lived here for several years and seen this issue unfold I would have thought you were exaggerating Seabee.

But I know you are not, and this whole "one villa, one family" rule is a complete and utter debacle. Unfortunately, once again, the powers that be are playing directly into the hands of those that chose to knock this place.

Little long-term vision, transparency or defined strategy are evident with any recent decisions and announcements.... will Dubai never learn!!!

It is becoming frustrating watching this place shoot itself in the foot time and time and time again...

R. Ramesh said...

quite an indepth analysis..congrats..

R. Ramesh said...

quite an indepth analysis..congrats..

unJane said...

I too have followed the on again off again status of this law and loved when it was reported that everything wrong about the proposal was 'our misunderstanding'. The villa next to ours is filled to the brim with Dubai Duty Free employees who disgorged each morning in their hideous teal green jackets and I have wondered if/when the police would come along and escort them to a more appropriate setting. I'm out of the country on home leave right now and find I am less ruffled by all the absurdities of life in the UAE. Thanks for your post.

Media Junkie said...

yes..i can feel a migraine coming on:

Anonymous said...

rents are down ppl.
time to stop living like cattle stuffed in a pickup and move to your own apartments. there is plenty of property coming onto the market,s rents are dropping.... now is the time to start living decently!

a-hem said...

Anonymous: That's a little harsh, isn't it? Even if the rents are going down, there aren't enough cost-effective housing options for low-income families. Circumstances make it difficult for EVERYONE to adhere to that rule; would people voluntarily choose to live like "cattle stuffed in a pickup?"

Anonymous said...

In the famous words of Clint Eastwood, it sounds like a 'clusterf**k'

Anonymous said...

it is sad when the govt can't say what they actually want to say in all probabability , which is " we dont want asians sharing villas in 'residential areas', especially single males, as it pollutes the area thereabouts, and causes global warming." clusterfk indeed!