Dubai residents look for new home after evacuating ’tilted building’


Almost a month after they were forced to evacuate from their homes due to structural damages, residents of the Al Qaseer building are still living in limbo. “For up to 10 days, our landlord offered to reimburse our costs for our stay,” said Nawal, who had been living in the building for two years.

“After that we were told that we could return to our homes on May 12 but that did not happen. Now, the latest update is that the building will be ready by the end of the month. We have been burning a hole in our pocket paying for hotel apartments.”

It was on April 19 evening that the building in Muhaisnah 4 ’tilted’ after suffering damages. Residents felt a jerk and were then evacuated from their homes by authorities.

“We are honestly fed up with the uncertainty,” she said. “We tried to find another apartment in the area. However, every single building in this vicinity has hiked up their rents. In fact, most residents who had to renew their contract in the last month faced a hike of Dh2,000 to Dh3,000 in their rents because the demand became high due to so many families looking for homes.”

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She said that during their hunt for a new home, they met several unscrupulous agents who were trying to make a quick buck. “Some would quote unbelievably high rates while others would ask for a higher commission,” she said. “They knew that we were desperate for a house. Another agent asked us to pay the first cheque as cash and refused to issue us a receipt for it. We later realized that he was trying to dupe us. The entire experience has been very traumatic for us.”

Moving into a new home

After days of uncertainty, Mohammed and his family have rented out a new house in Ras Al Khor. “We were hoping to move back in on May 12, but when that got delayed, we decided that it was time to move on,” he said. “During the almost one month we spent in hotel apartments, my children got sick several times. I think the stress of being in limbo got to them. We decided to look for another apartment.”


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