x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Discovery Gardens cracks down on overcrowding

Warning notices, believed to be aimed at bachelors, threaten penalties for illegal overcrowding in apartments.

The posters warn that overcrowding of homes breaches fire regulations and could result in 'overloading' of utilities.
The posters warn that overcrowding of homes breaches fire regulations and could result in 'overloading' of utilities.

DUBAI // Warning notices depicting pictures of bunk beds with a red line through them have been posted across Discovery Gardens as part of a crackdown on illegal overcrowding in apartments.

The posters warn that overcrowding of homes in in the development breaches fire regulations and could result in "overloading" of utilities.

Put up by Trakhees, which manages communities owned by developer Nakheel, the posters are headlined "Misuse of the Residential Units" and threaten "penalties" against rule breakers in five languages - English, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi and Chinese.

Although not explicitly mentioned, many residents believe the notices are aimed at preventing apartments being used as bachelor accommodation.

Discovery Gardens has become a popular place for many companies as a cheap alternative accommodation for workers.

The notices state: "Overcrowding in residential apartments/villas or the misuse of those for such purposes other than residing is a breach of fire protection, fire prevention, fire emergency control regulations and overloading of utilities and infrastructure services. The matter will be subject to severe penalties."

Under regulations set out by Trakhees, only one person per 200 square feet is allowed in each apartment. Trakhees says it will carry out random inspections across the community. Those not adhering to the rules will be subject to penalties.

The move by Trakhees has been welcomed by families who live in Discovery Gardens.

"I moved here with my wife about seven months ago and I want to get out as soon as I can," said Mohammed Khalil, a Jordanian, who lives in the Mediterranean cluster.

"I have seen it in the short time we have been here that there are more and more of these workers moving in. The vast majority of them are men," he said.

Ahmed Al Terani, also from Jordan, said he spotted the notices next to the lift in his Mogul cluster apartment building.

"I'm not really affected by it as much because it's mostly couples and families in my building. But I do know that a lot of the people who share apartments work in the shops in Ibn Battuta Mall.

"I guess if this overcrowding affects the utilities and can be a fire risk then it's important that the rules are followed," he added.

Nakheel did not respond to requests for a comment.

nhanif@thenational

This story has been amended since publication. The property management company is called Trakhees, not Tarkhees.