x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

7,000 buildings breach Dubai construction rules

The warnings were issued after Dubai Municipality carried out close to 38,000 inspections.

DUBAI // Almost 7,000 warnings were issued in the first half of the year for breaches of the emirate's strict building rules.

The offences included building extensions without the proper licensing as well as "setting up caravans, umbrellas and wooden boxes", according to Dubai Municipality.

However, the number of offences, 6,747, is less than last year, officials said, although figures were not available to tell by how much.

"Some of them are from complaints by people while the others are from our own inspection," said Jaber Al Ali, head of the building inspection section at the municipality.

"We carry out surprise inspections. We decide to visit a particular area. If it looks from the outside like there has been a violation, we will ask to inspect the villa."

He said the municipality carried out 37,800 field visits during the first half of the year.

Offences included "accommodating bachelors in residential areas, two families staying in one flat, and using a building for purposes other than what is permitted", according to the municipality.

Offenders will be given a deadline to fix the problem or seek the proper permission from the municipality. If they fail to meet the deadline they will be fined.

"If they still don't remove it, they will be given another notice period," said Mr Al Ali.

"If it is still not removed by then, we will cut the electricity and water. We have had too many cases like this."

Mr Al Ali said the emirate's expanding population made people "do illegal activities related to building construction, accommodation and renting", but he added that the municipality was vigilant.

Marwan Abdulla, acting director of the building department, said the majority of offences involved building work carried out without permission, with 1,132 cases falling into that category.

"Violations regarding setting up caravans, umbrellas and wooden boxes come next in the list," he said.

mcroucher@thenational.ae