UAE | Housing & Property

Sharjah landlords claim single women not allowed in city

They have misconstrued new bachelor rule in Sharjah, and ruled single women cannot live in the city

  • By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 June 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

Landlords not renting flats to single women
  • Image Credit: AHMED RAMZAN/Gulf News
  • Many single women in Sharjah complain that their landlords demand marriage certificates to renew tenancy contracts. Picture is used for illustrative purposes only.

Sharjah: Naima, a single woman, went from door to door on Al Wahda Street looking for a studio apartment to rent. No landlord would lease her one - they wanted a marriage certificate. She went to Abu Shagara. Naima was turned away by every landlord. The refrain was the same: produce a marriage certificate.

“Each and every landlord I met made it very clear that new rules had been introduced in the emirate: single women cannot live in the city. I was asked for my marriage certificate and when I told them that I was single, I was asked to look for an apartment elsewhere,” Naima said.

Each and every landlord I met made it very clear that new rules had been introduced in the emirate: single women cannot live in the city. I was asked for my marriage certificate and when I told them that I was single, I was asked to look for an apartment elsewhere


A Sharjah Municipality official said landlords have misconstrued the new bachelor rule and have been telling their potential and current female tenants that they cannot live in the city if they are single.

Sharjah Municipality introduced the bachelor rule in the beginning of April. It is aimed specifically at single men who have a monthly income of less than Dh4,000 per month and allows them to live either in the industrial areas or at an accommodation provided by the company.

The rule was implemented to prevent bachelors from overcrowding apartments and villas in residential areas. According to the new rule, a studio apartment can accommodate up to three people, a one-bedroom apartment can have four people, a two-bedroom apartment can have six, while a three-bedroom apartment can have up to nine people.

But a number of landlords have not fully understood the concept of the bachelor rule and think that single women are also covered by the regulation, and can no longer live in any part of the city.

Naima said she was shocked that every landlord demanded to see a marriage certificate. She is starting her new job in Sharjah soon and is in dire need of securing a home close to her work place.

“I eventually found a landlord who was willing to hold an apartment for me for one month as long as I deposited Dh1,000. I am staying with friends for now, but I am waiting for my brother to travel here and register the tenancy contract in his name because he is married. I have no idea what else to do.”

Many single women who are living in Sharjah have encountered the same problem. Their landlords have told them that they will not be able to renew their tenancy contract unless they produce a marriage certificate.

Irene Muita, who lives in Muwaileh near National Paints, said her landlord recently told her that once her tenancy contract expires in November, she cannot continue living in the building unless she shows a marriage certificate.

“My landlord said he did not have a problem having me in the building. He said he is only following the new rules. If that’s the case, why isn’t there any mention about it in the media because I was surprised to find out that such a rule actually exists,” she said.

Khalid Al Shamsi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department at municipality, confirmed that landlords have been misinterpreting the bachelor rule. He said he has had complaints from several women of different nationalities who all face eviction merely because they are single.

“The bachelor rule does not apply to single women at all. Landlords do not have to ask for tenants’ marriage certificates. We have placed advertisements about the [bachelor] rule and landlords should not fabricate new ones and claim that we are responsible,” said Al Shamsi. He stressed that landlords have the right to know their tenant’s marriage status only if they want families to rent the building.

“Women who face eviction or are turned away because they are single should visit our department, obtain a copy of the rule, and explain it to the landlord. If the landlord continues with this claim, then we will take action and explain the rules out to him in detail,” Al Shamsi said.

Comments (17)

  1. Added 17:24 June 4, 2012

    tats good decision bachlers and family should not stay in same place

    anonymous, shj, Oman

  2. Added 16:25 June 4, 2012

    it is too compolicated several women who are working in company searching for new shelter, but no one answered positively

    basheer , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:05 June 4, 2012

    Its very good. We need to keep the bachelors away from our residing buildings. I am also not happy for that. Daily there are many unknown visitors visiting our buildings and putting their Ads or cards every day. This is unsafe also. Please point out this also to keep these ads and cards at only reception area.

    Noor, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:01 June 4, 2012

    Is it necessary to have a tenancy contract if you want to sponsor your family in Abu Dhabi Emirate.

    Moyenaddin Afaque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 14:25 June 4, 2012

    I am still not sure to whom and how the rule implies, if a man aged 40 to 50 is staying in UAE as a single, but back home he has a wife and few children, is he termed as a bachelor or a family man. The salary sector, who is allowed to join a company with his own salary structure? The authorities should see that no visa is issueed to a bachelor or the salary scale is above the line to enable one, to live close-by in the city or office place. At the end, we are handmade of the Holy One Above All.

    George, Abu Dhabi, India

  6. Added 13:55 June 4, 2012

    Dear Gulf News, Kindly bring attention towards this type of rule in Riyadh too. We are facing similiar situation in Riyadh. And it is encourages crime. The example of HARA (Hayal Wizarath) mostly Indian, Pakistan, Sri Lankan & Bangladeshi families live here. But due to recent move by the manpower supplier to provide accomodation to labor (construction) in HARA, has created life miserable to most of the families and it is an unhealthy atmosphere too. Appreciate your (GN) support in bringing such a vital issue to Riyadh Municipality and implementing. Thanks

    Amjad, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  7. Added 13:45 June 4, 2012

    when the authorities have granted visas for bachelors/single ladies they also should provide proper accomodation safe n secure.

    jeet, musafah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:32 June 4, 2012

    Its actually real-estate agents who don't understand law at all, rumored all this. Law is quite clear, if your salary is less than 4000 then live in industrial area or company accommodation and this is applicable to single men only, weather he is married or not, its not an issue.

    zia, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 13:15 June 4, 2012

    First of all, its very sad that landlords dont have proper information and scare the tenants. I faced the same problem in Sharjah, my landlord renewed the tenancy contract, but mentioned, that the registration will be rejected by Municipality due to fact that I am single. I requested all relevant documents and went by myself to the Municipality for registration. In 15 minutes everything was done. The Municipality official agreed that landlords act on basis of misinterpretation! In Sharjah of course unmarried tenants are welcome, male and female! I hope, the misinterpretation will have an end immediately!

    Claudia, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:45 June 4, 2012

    The move should be appreciated and implemented in Abu Dhabi also. Overcrowding of residential buildings with bachelors are pushing the rents up as well as creating unhealthy environment, forcing the families to move out of the city.

    Salim, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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