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Satwa shocker: ‘My friends don’t come home anymore’

Despite paying monthly room rent of Dh2,500, villa tenant has to put up with filthy, unhygienic conditions

  • By Anjana Kumar, staff reporter, Xpress
  • Published: 21:54 August 22, 2012
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit:
  • filthy living: Utter squalor at the entrance and all around the compound of the villa where Daniel stays XPRESS/ Zarina Fernandes
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Dubai: “I lost my friends because of my house,” says 48-year old Asian Sam Daniel (name changed) pointing to a filthy, over-crowded foyer of a five-bedroom villa in Satwa.

Daniel who works as technician lives in one of the five-bedrooms in the villa.

Piles of shoes are stacked in one corner. A decrepit tea-stained wooden rack greets you as you walk through the shanty dwelling. Empty cannisters, cigarette butts and old clothes are strewn all over the floor. The walls are decorated with spit of pan juice (betal nut – popular among South Asians) and a hanging clothesline in the centre of the foyer hides a disgusting ‘squat toilet’ on the other side. “

“I used to have a good social life, but now my friends have stopped coming to my place,” he said.

He said the villa has almost become a mini township with 60 people currently living inside its gates. “Six years ago, when I newly moved in, there were only 25 people. In the last two years, many bachelors have started to live here, and the place now looks a mess.”

Daniel pays a monthly rent of Dh2,500 (Dh30,000 per annum) to live in this squalor.

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For that rent Daniel could move into a decent accommodation in other areas of Dubai — a studio apartment in Discovery Gardens, a one-bedroom apartment in International City, a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai Investments Park, a studio in Jumeirah Village Circle or a fully furnished apartment in Dubai Sports City.

But he is not keen on relocating “My wife likes to live here as it is closer to the workplace,” he said.

At the time of going to print, XPRESS couldn’t reach the landlord, but managed to speak to an Asian man who ‘manages’ the villa. “Do you want us to clean up the villa? Why do you want to write something bad about Dubai?” he enquired.

This villa may not be an isolated case as Satwa is proving a magnet to an increasing number of bachelors and there may be many other similar tales behind the gates of villas and apartments.

Despite stringent government guidelines to maintain decent living standards, greedy landlords continue to illegally rent out their villas to hoards of bachelors who turn their homes into a garbage pit.

Comments (19)

Your Comments
  1. Added 13:12 August 23, 2012

    If all the residents join together , even if it is one bedroom villa, they can maintain more cleanliness.This only shows the attitude of the people living there.Cant they share and repair the toilet or keep a door ?Cant they join and remove all these dirty clothes from the way and neatly dump it in a laundry bag.After the cleaning is done, they shud deduct it form the rent being paid to the landlord.For dirty surroundings, it is not the manger or the landlord who shpuld be blamed.He can be fined heavily for renting out for so many people and he should be too.

    meera, alain, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:42 August 23, 2012

    OMG.... thats a real truth about Dubai Bachelors Villa's. I have seen these kind of villas when i use to visit Dubai. from outside it looks Villa but when u enter these Villa's they look like a town, some Villsa accomodates so many people that its even defficult to walk as people keep seating on the stair case. Unfortunately these poor people can t help themselves as they have to adjust themslef with there low income. If duai wants people t live decent life they should either provide them with good salary & Accomodation on lower cost or crackdown on Villa owners who just fetch money without paying any attention towards social leaving of the people.

    Muhib, AUH, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:34 August 23, 2012

    I think it should be investigated by the concerned government authorities considering it is against the right to live humanely.

    ERIC, Manila, Philippines

  4. Added 11:30 August 23, 2012

    Come live in sharjah for 14k a year ! your own flat with 2 bed rooms !!!

    william, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:16 August 23, 2012

    Living this way is their choice. Who is to say anything or feel sorry?

    Felicity, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:09 August 23, 2012

    This looks pathetic !! These landloards need to be reported to the authorities ... people need to live in these places out of helplessness, financial constraints and what not. THIS is what dubai is in reality. and not the fictional Sheikh Zayed Road.

    Monia, Auh, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:06 August 23, 2012

    Here in this case the greedy landlord is not to be blamed but the man and his wife to be blamed. For the amount they pay as rent per month they can afford a better place but why are not they not choosing? is it only because it is close to the workplace? In Dubai there is a good public transport facility (Bus, Metro etc.,,) why are not using them. 3-4 years before rent is Dubai was very very high and skyrocketing, but now it is back to reality. They cannot go on complain the friends or landlord. Let them move on? How on earth a person could tolerate this especially if he stays with his family? Bachelors, it is another story as it is difficult to find accomodation in dubai for bachelors but for family, they can find a decent accomodation for even lesser amount.

    JS, Abu Dhabi, India

  8. Added 10:56 August 23, 2012

    I do not feel bad for Daniel. He clearly states that he can afford better accommodation in places like Discovery Gardens and International City. He made the choice of living in this house so i dont understand why he's complaining

    M, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:56 August 23, 2012

    I do not feel bad for Daniel. He clearly states that he can afford better accommodation in places like Discovery Gardens and International City. He made the choice of living in this house so i dont understand why he's complaining

    M, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:49 August 23, 2012

    When he pays 2500/-per month, he can easily move out to something better and more comfortable, but he is looking at his "wifes" comfort level of travelling, so why is the reporter blamingthe Landlord????? The choice of staying there remains with the tenant and not the landlord.

    shanie, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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