Gulf | Qatar

Qatar foreign state employees seek solution for relocation dilemma

Inquiry follows municipality decision to cut off electricity supply to force tenants to leave

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 13:31 December 28, 2011
  • Gulf News

Manama: A group of single doctors and architects have urged for an explanation on a decree that banned bachelors from living in residential areas in Doha.

"We are aware of the municipal decisions to relocate single company workers to new areas outside the residential neighbourhoods, but we do not know whether the ban applies to us as well," doctors and architects said, local daily Al Sharq reported on Wednesday.

The inquiry followed a decision by the municipality to cut off electricity supply to force them out of the residences where they are living, they said.

"They have put stickers on our houses asking us to vacate the houses, but we thought that it was not a blanket ban that included everyone, even government employees, and that the decision to relocate bachelors was confined to company workers and labourers," they said.

The municipality should have clarified the position in the beginning to avoid confusion and forcing government employees into the unknown, they said.

"The problem is that we do not know what to do right now," Ali Jassem said. "It is a real dilemma for us. We cannot stay in the houses as there is no electricity and we cannot rent new accommodation as we are bachelors and owners are concerned with the municipal decision which was obscure about the categories or nationalities of bachelors covered by the ban," he said, quoted by the daily.

According to Mohammad Khalaf, the Arab state employees should be relocated in labourers' accommodations.

"There are huge differences between the traditions, values and lifestyles that cannot be simply overlooked," he said. "Whoever made the decision should have looked at the issue from all angles to avoid wading into controversies," he said.

Qatari authorities made the decision to move out bachelors from residential areas after Qatari nationals have repeatedly complained about "lack of respect from expatriate bachelors for local values and traditions and menaces to the Qatari way of life" and called to relocate them in specifically designated areas.

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