Bachelors in an overcrowded villa in Deira. The municipality is cracking down on those violating the rules. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The municipality has intensified the campaign to monitor the presence of bachelors living in villas within residential neighbourhoods.

“There are currently seven areas that we are focusing on, which have the tendency of housing bachelors illegally living in areas designated for families,” said Engineer Yousuf Abdullah Al Marzouqi, Acting Director of the Buildings Department at Dubai Municipality.

The areas that are known to flaunt the rules are seven, including those in Al Jaffliya, Al Bada’ae in Jumeirah 1, Rashidiya, Abu Hail, Al Wuhaida and Al Twar.

Al Marzouqi pointed out that the civic body has cracked down on many places after carrying out field visits in several residential areas in the emirate of Dubai since the beginning of May, and that if bachelors are found to flout these rules, the electricity and water connections of these buildings will be disconnected within an allocated deadline.

According to a 1999 municipal rule, it is illegal for bachelors to share accommodation in family-friendly non-freehold areas. One of the main problems with sharing accommodation include compromising health and safety standards.

“During our inspections in the last few months, we have found more than 50 men living in one villa, and over 15 in one room sleeping on bunk beds and mattresses on the floor,” said Al Marzouqi.

Urging the public to cooperate with the civic body, Al Marzouqi said that it has been noticed that some owners are still leasing rooms to bachelors in areas allocated for families.

The municipality will take necessary action in case of receiving any complaint from families regarding the presence of bachelors in these areas, he said.

“As per procedure, we immediately issue them a notice to vacate the property within a day and then our inspectors will visit the area the next morning to ensure that they have left. If they fail to do so, the municipality will cut off the electricity and water supply,” he said.

He added that bachelors can stay in all residential buildings in Commercial Business District areas, as well as in residential buildings in designated residential areas such as Al Quoz 4, Al Ghusais 1, Hor Al Anz and Al Muteena, among others. One person must occupy only one room, and no more than three bachelors can stay in a three-bedroom apartment, “otherwise a notice will be given to evacuate”.

According to Al Marzouqi, blue-collar workers can live only in labour camps in Muhaisna, Al Quoz and Jebel Ali, and fines range from Dh1,000 to Dh50,000 depending on the area.