We were packing up from the UAE, and Covid-19 spread

Published: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 8:44 PM

The heartwarming message by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Price of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has truly helped allay some of our fears (It's my word: There's enough food, says CP; KT, March 17).
I am not aware if the leadership of any other country has given its people such a personal assurance in such a challenging time. It's like a father assuring his son in trouble, "Don't worry son, I am with you."
I wonder if the great leadership could offer its people, especially the expatriates, some extra relief on rental payments. Our rental contact expires next month. As most flights to and from India have been suspended for next few weeks, I called our real estate agent to express our position and the uncertainties. We had already notified them about our plan to leave the UAE for good due to financial difficulties we were going through.
The agent has allowed us to continue staying the house for up to three months at the same rent we were paying. But he has also asked for an extension fee of Dh2,100. It is hard for us, and I am sure a lot of other residents might be facing similar financial difficulties and issues.
US President Donald Trump has ordered federal housing officials to suspend evictions and foreclosures until the end of April.
Could authorities in the UAE, the leadership also offer some relief on similar lines? A lot of people need help, perhaps a moratorium on rental payments, especially on renewals or expiry, could be helpful.
-James Pullatt, Dubai

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