Thursday, 27 March 2008
Satwa: But wait there's more...
A couple of photos of the local Satwa area taken from our roof
Here's the summary so far:
Late in February the residents of our compound in Satwa, that's 18 villas and 42 apartments in all, received eviction letters giving 3 months notice to vacate. The Rent Tribunal was approached for advice, who said that the current leases had precedence and all tenants should stay put. The Dubai Engineer's Office was then approached and after several visits, the compound residents were granted a further one month's occupancy which was finally confirmed in a letter received by tenants yesterday. We have to be out by 25 June as the Engineers office advises that demolition starts 1 July. Meanwhile, in an example of either complete idiocy or complete dishonesty (and I know which way I'm leaning) the compound landlord is still issuing new 12 month leases to tenants, another just this week. Nothing however tops the story of our next door neighbour who, after handing over his cheques for 12 months rent in advance, was given a new 12 month lease with the eviction letter pinned to the front page. Ethics? What's that?
Due to some wasta* being exercised by one of our well connected neighbours, a further meeting was arranged with the boss of the person we'd been dealing with at the Dubai Engineers Office. The boss, after keeping the tenant reps waiting over 45 minutes, announced that the Satwa project had been divided into sections and then delegated within the Engineers Office and that she had nothing to do with it and the tenants had to deal with her subordinate - the man we've already been dealing with (let's call him 'Engineer Mo'). A typical pointless runaround.
Two weeks ago compound tenants received a letter from the landlord of the compound saying that compensation for tenants would be provided but demanding copies of peoples' work permits which had to be supplied the day after the letter was issued or no compensation would be paid. Not everyone has their passport which contains the work permit as some employers still, illegally, retain their staffs' passports. Those people will, I guess, have missed out.
Meanwhile in a further irritating development, Engineer Mo phoned last night to say that there was nothing further he could do as compensation had been paid to the tenants already. No, Mo! This has not happened and, while its not for me to cast aspersions, but judging purely by our landlord's demonstrated level of honesty to date, I suspect the worst ie, the authorities probably have paid the tenants' compensation, but they've paid it to the landlord and the compensation has not been passed from the landlord to the tenants to whom it is due. Happy to be proved wrong of course.
* clout, connections