Up to Dh3,000 extra rent: Dubai residents look for new home after evacuating 'tilted building'

On April 19, the building suffered damages after residents felt a jerk and were evacuated by authorities


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 16 May 2024, 8:36 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 May 2024, 7:10 AM

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.”

According to him, they were given the clearance to move their things out of the building. “We had to let the security know when we wanted the movers to come in,” he said. “They arranged for a pass and we were allowed to move everything out.”

Apart from more than 800 apartments, the building also had a store and a clinic. According to Nawal, all the residents are heartbroken at having to look for other houses. “The building was one of the best in the area,” she said. “The rooms were spacious, had a lot of natural light and was very convenient. The building had several amenities, including a huge play area for children. Everyone who came to the area would tell us that it was the best building there.”

Playing the waiting game

While some residents are moving to other homes, others are still waiting to be allowed to move back into the building. One resident who didn’t wish to be named said he had decided to wait it out. “I am confident that the building will get fixed soon and that Dubai Municipality will give it a clearance,” he said. “The building is really good and we have some amazing friends who we have made during our years living here. We would rather wait and move back into the same place.”

The building, which had its second basement completely submerged during the rains, has been cordoned off by authorities as construction work continues to fix its issues.


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