DUBAI // Forty abandoned buildings have been demolished by Dubai Municipality in the first six months of this year.
The demolitions took place in areas including Satwa, Jumeirah, Al Mizhar, Al Jafiliya and Hatta.
"The buildings were demolished due to the lack of response from the owners after proper notification by the building inspection section, in addition to the warning through the newspapers and TV and radio stations," said Jabir Abdullah, the head of the building inspection division.
The owners of the buildings were given six months to fix problems with their buildings, which inspectors said posed health threats and security risks.
"Some of these buildings have been used for different types of crimes, delinquencies and harbouring infiltrators and fugitives," said Mr Abdullah.
"A while back, a body was found in one of the abandoned houses … these buildings were also dangerous to the environment and public health, as they resulted in the accumulation of waste and spread of insects and rodents."
Owners who fail to heed the municipality's warnings will be expected to pay for the cost of demolition and clean-up.
Another 368 buildings and yards have been identified by inspectors to be demolished if their owners do not take action.
Mr Abdullah urged the owners of such properties to respond to its orders for maintenance work. "There are various reasons why these buildings are abandoned," he said. "It can range from financial troubles to being unable to find a tenant, to it being an unwanted inheritance.
"Nonetheless, if it is violating municipal regulation and is posing a threat to the area we must act quickly."
The demolition unit has also removed 44 unauthorised additions or annexes, or illegally placed tents and caravans.
Mr Abdullah urged the public to report abandoned buildings and breaches through the municipality's hotline, 800 900.