Tenants live in ‘ghost building’

ABU DHABI — Ten years of neglect has turned a building in the capital into a ‘ghost house’, but nearly 100 workers continue to risk their lives and limbs by living in it.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz And Adel Arafah (Our staff reporters)

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Published: Fri 11 Jan 2008, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:47 PM

The six-storey building is located on the third street in Sector 1-12 between Hamdan and Khalifa streets.

Khaleej Times met some workers who are residing in the dilapidated building to know about their living conditions. Most of the tenants work in groceries and showrooms and many of them do car cleaning.

“There are no window panes, nor are the stairs cleaned. We have no contracts and we see the landlord only once a month when we pay the rent,” the workers said.

Sources said the landlord is involved in a litigation with his brother for the past 10 years. “Hence, the landlord has never paid any attention to the maintenance of the building,” they added.

The tenants said the building is in a very bad condition. The plaster is coming off the walls and ceilings due to neglect. “There is no fire-fighting system in place should the need arise.”

The occupants of the building have reported the matter to the authorities concerned and they have been assured of action.

Engineer Umar Al Hashmi, Director of City Image Department in Abu Dhabi Municipality told Khaleej Times that the officials will decide about the fate of the building after conducting an on-the-spot investigation.

“The municipality’s technical team will prepare a report and if the report suggests that the building be demolished, the tenants would have to vacate the building and the landlord will have to pay the demolition cost,” said Al Hashmi.

Major Rabie Al Mouala, Director of Legal Department in Civil Defence, said a team will inspect the building and according to the technical report the authorities will give the landlord a grace period of up to 60 days to demolish the building.

“In case the landlord does not abide by the decisions, the Civil Defence will refer the landlord to General Prosecution,” added Al Mouala.

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