Oct 22, 2008

Only immediate family members can share villas - official

Dubai: Only immediate family members are allowed to share villas, an official from Dubai Municipality has clarified.

Dubai Municipality's Head of Building Inspection section in the buildings department, Engineer Omar Abdul Rahman, said that distant relatives such as cousins and their families will not be allowed to share villas, assuring residents that the "one family per villa" rule still applies.

"As long as the tenants are members of the same family they can live in one villa, but distant relatives cannot," he said, adding that every case is assessed individually.

Engineer Abdul Rahman, however, said that traditional joint families need not worry. Naturally growing families, he said, were permitted to live in the same villa, such as cases where a father's children were starting families in the same house.

"If it's a family made up of a grandfather and his children together with their children that is fine, but you can't bring your cousins and their families to live with you," he said.

He warned however, that any additions made to the villa, such as partitions, must be authorised by the municipality.

The new rules are part of a campaign to reduce overcrowding in villas which can pose safety or fire hazards.

The municipality has issued a 30-day grace period for families to move out, which expires this weekend. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has been instructed to cut off utilities for violators beyond the period.

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