SHARJAH: Authorities in Sharjah are implementing a new rule to relocate bachelors staying in villas in residential neighbourhoods into industrial areas or workers' accommodations.
Villas in poor and unhygienic conditions will be demolished.
"The rule came into effect on Monday and applies to bachelors of all nationalities. If they do not have a family, then they should not be living in family-oriented areas," said Eng Sultan Al Mualla, director general of Sharjah Municipality.
"Inspectors will carry out rounds in various areas and the first places under scrutiny are Samnan, Halwan, Al Khezammia and Al Mansura. Once we complete those areas, we will then move on to other neighbourhoods," Al Mualla explained.
The majority of villas were initially built by Emirati families but once they moved to new neighbourhoods, the families decided to rent them out to bachelors, mostly from Asian nationalities, to supplement their regular income.
The official pointed out that dwellings inhabited by the workers had been originally constructed for citizens and care was being taken not to cut off the livelihood of homeowners while moving the workers to alternative accommodations.
The rule was announced by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah in a message on Sharjah Radio and Sharjah TV.
The rule aims to evict bachelors from rented villas to preserve a sense of security among families. In his radio broadcast, Dr Shaikh Sultan stressed that he was aware that Emiratis had rented out their villas to single tenants, and announced that landlords would be compensated for their losses.
The rule was initiated after a large number of families complained about bachelors living in their neighbourhoods, and that numerous vehicles were parked along the streets during all hours of the night.
During his radio broadcast, Dr Shaikh Sultan pointed out that many bachelors lived in dilapidated houses and that it will be the municipality's responsibility to coordinate with landlords to carry out maintenance works on such buildings.
Dr Shaikh Sultan added that if villas are found to be in a very poor condition, they will be demolished. Otherwise, they will be upgraded and will ensure that ample room is left between neighbouring houses so that they do not share the same compound wall so that greenery can be added as part of the city's landscaping.
This is not the first move by officials to evict bachelors from residential areas. In 2009, Sharjah Municipality carried out a campaign to evict bachelors from living in apartment buildings within the city and instructed them to relocate to the industrial areas. Up until now, bachelors were allowed to live in villas provided that they were not overcrowding them and complied with housing rules, including not living with women.