For the heck of it

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Finally A Home We Can Call Ours!! (I Hope)

Everyone knows how it is to be single in Dubai. I can say it in one word - SAD!! No, it's not that the girls here aren't pretty (or hot!!). Neither do I intend to say that the night life sucks. It's just that there aren't many places in Dubai, which single people (bachelors and spinsters) can call home.

Take my case as an instance - me and three of my roommates used to live in this beautiful and huge studio in Karama happily for a year and a half. But that's until our lease contract expired. Taking the rising real estate prices in Dubai into consideration, we thought that our real estate agency would ask for more money to renew our contract. Instead, we were slapped with an eviction notice for no fault of ours. The contract read:

"This is to inform you that we do not wish to renew your tenancy contract for the next year. Hence, we give you a month's notice as required by our agreement, to vacate this flat by <> date. We thank you for your co-operation."

Co-operation?? My ass! Why the F*** do you need us to co-operate, when we can clearly see that you are asking us to vacate the flat for no reason!! For those ignorant enough see, single people don't have enough say in anything in Dubai. Even if it's not their fault. And this is what we discovered when we asked for the reason for our eviction notice. Instantly came a reply, "You are bachelors. Bachelors are not allowed to stay in a building where families stay" in resounding "Mallu" English.

We have been renting this flat for about 6 years (I moved into the flat only 1.5 years ago, but the other guys staying there, had been there for six years). So all these years they didn't realise that we were bachelors - and then suddenly, one fine morning, they said to themselves - "Let's kick these stupid bachelors out. They won't agree to a 70 percent rent increase, when we renew their tenancy contract for the next year."

And so, we had to vacate the flat. After hunting for places around, I gave up. Then I enquired around, and I came across this real agent agent, who said that he might have a bedspace vacant in his two bedroom flat in Golden Sands area, in Bur Dubai. It was the building next to Golden Sands 10, behind Spinneys. I went to check out the bedspace - I was to share a room with three other guys.

Since I didn't have any other choice, I moved in. Everything was going on fine for three months - then suddenly another notice to vacate the flat. The same stupid "bachelor"reason was given. Our third accomodation hunt started. For about three weeks, we checked everything - from the classifieds in newspapers and web sites, to notice boards in Spinneys and Lulu Supermarket.

Then, one fine day, we came across this posting in the classifieds section in Gulf News, which read, "One room available for bachelors in Satwa." We immediately went to check it out and we were impressed. It was a huge room, which could easily accomodate four guys and the rent seemed nominal by Dubai standards. We signed the deal.

We moved in, and were just starting to continue with our lives, when we were served another notice. First we were shocked - it hd been just two months since we moved in. But we were pretty sure that it can't be the same "bachelor"problem. That was because the Dubai government had recently passed a ruling that bachelors around the city were free to live in flats, except for villas. And we were staying in a flat.

So we argued with the guy who had the sublet the room to us. He said that he had rented out the flat from the landlord for commercial purposes. However. he then started using the flat for residential purposes, which essentially breaches the contract. Hence, the landlord asked him to vacate the flat. We then asked him, why we weren't even informed that the flat was essentially a commercial one? Had we known that, we wouldn't have even agreed to move in. He had no answers.

Our fourth hunt for home started. We searched the entire Dubai for a place, where could stay peacefully, without anyone bullying us to leave, just because we were bachelors. After a week of careful searching, we finally found a room in a two bedroom flat, in Old Pakistani Consulate area of Bur Dubai. It's an amazing room, with a view of the Deira creek.

The view from our new home.

We move on Thursday. I just hope, nobody asks us to vacate again, because we are bachelors!

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