Qatari Greed & Stinginess Have Caused Slums & Ghettos All Around Doha

SKY-HIGH rents and lack of living space are turning Doha’s old town into a slum with makeshift rooms stacked on top of residential buildings. One area visited by Gulf Times in Doha ‘Jadeed’ found a number of low-income workers sleeping in shelters made up of old mattresses, scrap metal and tin roofs.

“Welcome to the ghetto of Doha,” greeted Ahmadzai, who was dripping with sweat while sitting in the courtyard of a building at 3.30pm.

“Obscenely high rents, food expenses and other living costs do not allow some of us to live in an air-conditioned comfort. And there are children and families back home that need to be fed, so this is just a tiny inconvenience,” he said. “Any newcomer or even a visitor wanting to sleep over is forced to rest on the roof,” said Ahmadzai, who has been in Qatar for three decades.

The visitors, usually friends or relatives, come to Doha during the weekends from far-flung areas such as Shahaniya or Al Khor and because “they like to hang out for at least one day in the week, most sleep on the roof”.

Pointing towards Jaleel, who has just arrived in Qatar less than a month ago, Ahmadzai said: “He’s been promised QR800 a month for driving a dump truck and paid QR10,000 to an ‘unscrupulous’ agent back in Kohat (Pakistan). How’s he going to find a room in Doha that is affordable? For now, he’s just been bunking on the roof.”

When asked how much is he paying for the ‘temporary shelter’, Jaleel said: “They are not asking for money right now. But with my first pay, I will chip in with whatever I can for using the house’s toilet and kitchen.”
Another ‘tenant’, Mohamed, said: “Two years ago I asked the owner of this ‘house’ to allow me to build an additional room and after his approval went ahead with the ‘brick and mortar operation’ with my own money.

“But once the room was ready, he increased the monthly rent of the whole place from QR1,200 to QR3,500.”
Mohamed said that complaints about high rents would lead to eviction threats. “But where will we go?” he asked.

And Mohamed is not keen about living in a room filled with ‘bunk-beds’ because “they offered little privacy”.
“That’s not an option. What if the person on the bed above mine keeps moving all night? How am I going to get a sleep? I would rather go and sleep under the open sky, regardless of how humid it is,” Mohamed said.
Rahman, a long-time Doha resident, had an explanation why some people take to living on the roof.

“Most of us have houses in northern Pakistan next to snow-capped mountains. Those who are new to Doha suffer from severe allergic reactions, thanks to the dust, and would not want to infect their room-mates,” said Rahman.

The Northern Areas of Pakistan are the second most glaciated place on Earth after the North Pole.
“We do seek medical attention but air-conditioners or even fans trigger reactions in newcomers. It’s best for them to sleep on the roofs. Nobody actually forces them. I’ve myself slept on the roof in torrid heat during winters and rain,” Rahman remarked.

Source: Gulf Times

Comments

man that place sucks

My brother lives in Doha and I am about to move to dubai. I am under no illusions about life in the middle east, have been an expat before. however, cannot believe that human beings think it is ok to treat others like they are a lesser species. makes me wonder how they are going to fair when the oil dries up and nobody gives a shit about them anymore. at the end of the day, they live in the desert. they are not europe with stunning architecture, they are not australasia with stunning geography. they are nothing. you've made your bed quatar, now get ready to sleep in it.

totally true

I came to doha to work as a consultant with a govt agency, our firm is usually treated well in regards to housing and family needs however the enormous cost of housing and living nearly wiped out all the gains of working in doha, mind you I was being paid nearly 5 times more salary than I had in east asia. after the first 2 months I had to leave and go back to hong kong, which is crazy because hong kong is more expensive than new york or even london and I have lived there as well working for my IT consulting firm.

quality of the house

That is so true the quality of the flat we live in is so horrible, and the house was just build and it looks like they never finished some of the stuff , it looks bad and things keep breaking ! I'm from Germany I'm not used to such a poor job on a brand new house. It's really frustrating living here, every day I think what will break today. And if something breaks it takes them days or even months to fix it, makes me want to cry.

Poor Quality Housing

I have empathy for the German Expat who is unfortunately experiencing the Poor Quality of Housing in this God forsaken poor excuse of a Country. I am a Brit Expat and I get an accommodation allowance of QR17,500 pm, with this I rented a Brand New Villa which was to be for me and my new Bride (She arrived here and left 4 days later disgusted at 'Qatar') anyway, the Qatari Landlord, as usual, promised full maintenance and any problem will be sorted within half a day (yeah, right)...we're still waiting for him to tarmac the road and thats after 15 months. The 'build' quality of the Villa is nothing short of appaulling, the Landlord complains about how much the Villas cost him to build (moan, moan, moan) ....The Contractors (Egyptian) 'built' and I use that term very losely, completed 80 x 5 bedroom villa's from ground breaking to handing keys over in 9 months !!! Chinese fixings have been used all over the place which just break-off in your hands or when trying to turn said fixing on or off. The landlord also has not kept up his agreement with the A/C suppliers who in-turn will not carry out maintenance work on the Splits. These are just brief examples of what the people who are making this country for the bone-idle and greedy Qatari's are having to put up with. Yes, I'm lucky being a Brit Expat, I get a reasonable allowance for this that and the other....but what about those not so fortunate!!! You may also want to put this in to the reasons 'I hate Qatar and Qatari's' Diary....European Expats may get a decent salary etc but we also have to put up with a great deal more stress than normal which is promarily brought about by the ignorant Qatari and that stress takes it's toll. So what's the solution...simple, leave this Shit-hole before it kills you - I'm outa here in 4 weeks, No Inshallah business, I'm gone....suggest you all do the same.

Nice rent

The Qatari rental market is one of the worst. Unregulated because they (the Qatari) can demand anything under the sun and the government will not intervene. Most Qatari just build the house to get the money. They really don't care about the quality of the house. So what if it is run down and terrible the first day you move in? None of their business. They are living in their nice villa (not so nice if you actually see them up close but that is another post)

I was living in this apartment once. I got a letter from the government (Urban Planning and Development) to tell me to move out because they want to demolish the place. I was shocked. I was given 3 weeks notice to move and find a new place. Thank god my agent found me a place. But the funniest thing is the Urban Planning and Development wanted to tear the place down. Then one of their guy (a Qatari) was outside my apartment before I moved and asked me "You want to stay here?". I told him "Urban Planning wants to tear this place down", He said, "I am from Urban Planning. No problem. You can stay for one more year but we need to remove all the furniture and you got to be responsible for the electricity and water. Also, no maintenance but we will drop the rent by half"

I was shocked. They said they will NOT destroy the place first. Then why the hell we got to move? Then he said, we got to handle the apartment all by ourselves. What if the Urban "Planning" decides to tear it down next month? We are screwed, correct? So I told him "Inshallah, I want to stay here. I will see you tomorrow (bukrah, inshallah)" and go ahead and book my new apartment and proceeded to move out.

So much for Urban "Planning" and "Development"....