Rules confused

There is no law against more than one family living in a villa in Dubai, says municipality…

Dubai Municipality has announced that its campaign against overcrowded villas has been misunderstood and that there was never a rule banning more than one family from living in a villa together.

"The municipality has started a campaign against overcrowding in villas to ensure the safety and security of residents," clarified Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Dubai Municipality late yesterday.He said the campaign was targeted against high numbers of people living in villas meant for smaller numbers.

"We can accept five to eight people in a villa - depending on its size - but not 20 to 30 people," he said. He explained that overcrowding puts pressure on civic service and also created security and safety problems.

"We face overflowing sewage, water and parking shortages and garbage collection problems in overcrowded villas because facilities in the areas have been designed according to the need of the areas. Overcrowding creates a lot of social implications also," he added. He said the municipality did not have any problem with more than one family living in a villa, provided it was big enough.

"But let me clarify here as well that tenants and landlords cannot decide on this issue, because many landlords, especially real estate agents, are greedy and try to make more money by renting villas to a maximum number of people.

"Families sharing a villa have to seek permission from the municipality to know whether a villa is big enough to accommodate a certain number of people," he added. Lootah said that the main objective of the campaign was to ensure a clean environment. Since the campaign began in 2005, thousands of villa owners have been fined.

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