UAE | Society

Safety concerns in gated communities

Residents complain against lack of security in their posh neighbourhoods

  • ANJANA KUMAR, STAFF REPORTER
  • Published: 21:51 January 30, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • No Vandals, Please: Residents in gated communities are calling for greater security measures

Dubai Angry residents in Dubai’s gated communities are questioning the level of security in their localities following a series of break-ins, intrusions and vandalism recently.

Geeti Bhatnagar, a tenant in a plush five-bedroom villa in The Lakes, says she is disappointed with security in the community. “There are loopholes in the security here and they need to be plugged.”

Last December, her car was vandalised by supposedly teenage boys who smeared ketchup and ice-cream on the roof and the back of her car. They also broke eggs on it and on the door of her first floor balcony. “We called the security immediately and they informed us it might have been the work of a teenage prankster. They also told us that there had been a similar incident in another villa in The Lakes the same night.”

She has called for more patrolling in the night and installation of CCTV cameras on community streets.

Roberto Kauffmann, Chairman of the Lakes Owners Association Interim Board, said: “We are not aware of any recent thefts or break-ins. We, therefore, consider The Lakes to be a safe community. We remind residents about the risk of employing part or full-time help without sponsorship, and are working with Emaar Community Management (ECM) to implement a new access system.”

Meanwhile residents of the Springs, Meadows and Arabian Ranches have also complained of vandals roaming freely in their communities with cars, houses and even pedestrians being the prime targets.

Heena Sagar, owner of a five-bedroom villa in The Meadows, had a nasty shock one morning, when her red Honda coupe had its windscreen broken. “It was as if somebody had taken a big stone and smashed the glass with it!”

Last week her car was dented, scratched — and the bumper pulled off. “We are tired of this. Who is doing all this?” asked the angry resident.

But some say residents themselves are to blame for the intrusions.

“Illegal workers are often hired by the residents — whether it is a driver or a house help or a cook. Also many residents think living in Dubai is safe and forget to lock their main doors,” said a Lakes resident.

Kamal Kotecha, a 47-year-old British resident of Jumeirah Islands, said anybody can wave their hand up to the security at the entrance of the community and enter. “Anybody can claim to live in the community or work in the community — there is no check.”

A Nakheel spokesperson said: “Safety and security is paramount and in the normal course of operations, these arrangements are reviewed regularly across all Nakheel communities. In the interests of maintaining a secured community at all times, any incident reported is investigated, with appropriate action taken. Regarding Jumeirah Islands, anybody entering the community is asked to provide a cluster and villa number, and their car registration is being recorded.”

No comment was immediately availabe from Emaar.

Comments (7)

Your comments
  1. Added 11:51 January 31, 2013

    Just maybe, these teenage pranksters are residents of their own gated community.

    Ayes, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:06 January 31, 2013

    This is not only happening in Dubai. I live in a gated community in Abu Dhabi and we are suffering from the same problem. We have break ins almost every week, have had cars vandalised and many more issues. On top of all this, we also have pest problems, with rats everywhere, even coming into the houses in some cases , not to mention very poorly maintained facilities. The list is long but I would really like it if XPRESS covered our concerns too and published a story.

    Roula Al Jbour, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:44 January 31, 2013

    The incidents are appalling, but it's not only for gated community, but every community and neighbourhood face this problem. Gated communities are NO special in any way. Secondly, I guess the miscreants could NOT be poor labourers or maids as per the guess, but purely the juveniles residing there. The young boys from high society / rich family do this as a TIME PASS or LEISURE may be as a competition. Who does the worst..... Why blame the poor who struggle to survive with the exceeding expenditure and cost of living? Let these high end gated community owners install sensor systems in their cars, the cost of which is just peanuts for them.

    shanti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 09:39 January 31, 2013

    I think the bigger concern is reckless drivers in these communities. People living in most of these communities drive as if they own the road or are driving szr. Also I think the vandalism is by a group of kids who live in the community not people driving in to it just for the sake of vandalizing.

    Oom, Dubai, United States

  5. Added 08:32 January 31, 2013

    I can agree to the notion that hiring illegal residents has a risk of theft but these poor people won't vandalize cars and property, rather they live always a low profile life. So someone is out of his mind if he or she is blaming them for it. I am sure it's a job of some ruined kids of the elites. Does anyone know about armed daylight burglaries in Discovery gardens and International City? It happened to my brother... Nobody has been caught yet. I know two other houses nearby with the same fate in Discovery Gardens.

    Saqib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 08:16 January 31, 2013

    The problem is that security is not enough. Obviously it's not working, but the developers won't do anything more than this because it costs them more. Should the police be patrolling these neighbourhoods? Should the residents be responsible for the safety patrols? All we know is that the existing measures are not enough!

    Anthony Wilkinson, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 23:15 January 30, 2013

    Is this a joke? People are being daily robbed, raped and murdered in South Africa in their homes. Just last night, a 37 year old man was brutally killed in front of his wife and kids. And you are worried about eggs been thrown on your car. We pray to God everyday that we could have leadership skilles like the rulers of the UAE. So I think it's best if people count their blessings.

    Ashraf, Johannesburg, South Africa

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