x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Residents evicted from Airport Road building

Residents gathered outside their building on Airport yesterday after being evicted from thei flats.

ABU DHABI // Residents loaded the street with belongings outside their building on Airport Road after they were evicted yesterday from their flats with little notice.

"They only told us that our building expired and that we have to leave now," said Rajish Babu from India. "They just asked us to pack up our stuff and leave within the hour.

Residents said that police and municipality officials were in the area earlier, demanding that they evacuate the building immediately. Many claimed that they had no prior notice.

Tenants said the building, which is between Hazza bin Zayed Street and Delma Street, is scheduled for demolition.

Mattresses covered the open area around the aged building and tenants dropped belongings from their windows - among them metal and wooden objects that proved dangerous to both the receiving end and any passing bystanders.

Residents said they were paying between Dh2,500 and Dh3,000 per room in each flat.

"I've been living here for four years," said Mr Babu, who does air conditioner maintenance. "And now, within a couple of hours, I have to leave and find a new place to stay. I don't know what I'm going to do."

Frustrated tenants said they are now left homeless as they try to find-last minute options. Pots, pans, clothes and food were stacked on trucks, which many of the residents drive for a living.

One Indian resident, who works as a salesman at Al Wahda Mall across the street, said he could not find a place to stay. "I don't know where I'm going to spend the night," he said. "I may have to sleep on the street."

A city spokesman said that the municipality had not been aware of the demolition order.