Satwa demolition drive leaves low income residents in lurch

DUBAI - The drive to demolish the villas in old Satwa area to make way for the multi-million dirham Jumeirah Garden City has thrown the many low income groups into a sea of uncertainty, with many staring at a bleak future.

By Joy Sengupta

Published: Tue 5 Aug 2008, 1:35 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:00 PM

Thousands of villas have been razed since the drive started in February this year. As the roaring sound of the bulldozer gets nearer and nearer, the people sharing the villas in the area have started a frantic search for alternative cheap accommodations.

The hopes of finding such units are grim as the Dubai Municipality has launched 'One Villa-One Family' drive in several areas to evict families and bachelors sharing villas.

Satwa, one of the oldest localities in Dubai, is home to thousands of expatriates, mostly Filipinos who earn only meagre salaries. They will be the hardest hit as owners of the properties are being given suitable compensation.

Earlier, the officials of the Dubai Land Department had said the compensation, monetary or land, was being given according to the preference of the owners.

“Those who want money are paid accordingly. The others are given land equivalent to the value of their respective properties. In case an affected national cannot build a home by himself, he will be given a villa. Altogether, more than 4,000 people will be compensated," said a source.

According to reports, the whole area, which lies between Shaikh Zayed Road and Satwa Road, will be cleared to make way for the project, which will consist of many gardens, ponds and canals. The project is in line with the extension of the Dubai Creek Plan.

The details of the project have not been announced.

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