Demolition work underway in Satwa
To recap: On 25th February landlords throughout Satwa received a mandatory land clearance order from the Dubai Lands Department. On 27th February the landlord of the compound we live in issued eviction letters to all tenants (well to those tenants he thought could read Arabic, everyone else was ignored and weren't given the letter).
Our next door neighbour was out of Dubai at the time and had not be told about the evictions and had not been given the landlord's eviction letter on his return because, as he is an Anglo expat, they assumed he couldn't read Arabic. Not being aware of all this he went along to the landlord's agent last week to renew his annual lease. The neighbour handed over his 4 post dated cheques for the annual rent and was told to come back the following day to collect the lease agreement. He went back the next day and was handed a new 12 month lease agreement signed by the landlord. Pinned to the top of the lease was a letter in Arabic which the neighbour queried. He was told it was an eviction letter and he had 3 months to get out. So, in summary, the landlord had taken the neighbour's 4 cheques the previous day knowing there was a clearance order from the government on the property, had given the neighbour a new 12 month lease knowing that it isn't worth the paper it was written on and then, and this takes some beating, attached the eviction letter to the new lease. Incredible! At the beginning of this week, a family living four villas down from us was also given a further 12 month lease. The weirdest thing is that the new leases and the eviction letters are all signed by the same man. Does he have total memory loss at the times he signs the new 12 month leases? Or does he have a split personality where Nice Landlord Man doesn't know what Evil Eviction Man is doing? Or is this a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, no the right hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing? Its like a parallel universe here sometimes.
Meanwhile bulldozers are already moving into parts of Satwa to demolish houses and a whole section of houses along Al Wasl Road has disappeared, seemingly overnight. Some villas in Satwa have had large red notices pasted to their front walls from DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) warning that at the end of the 3 month period, water and electricity supplies will be cut off. A colleague at work has one of these signs on his front wall and, as the sign is in Arabic only, he queried his landlord about it. The landlord's response was "Don't worry, I will come and paint over it. Mafi mushkella (no problem)." What clever thinking....of course.....just paint over the sign and DEWA won't notice.
Here's the latest article from the Gulf News.