Dubai Consumer Mirror

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dubai eGovernment systems are working .. but

We just arrived home from London. And thanks to the flexible capabilities of Emirates Airlines business class seat, I managed to have a good night sleep onboard.

I was hoping I could complete the sleep in the comfort of my own bed at home. But Dubai's construction boom had other plans.

About 6 weeks ago, a construction site, located quite next to our building, started working on 24/7 basis. And I do mean 24hr a day, 7 days a week.

And the work that goes at night is hardcore construction works. 10s of workers banging, dinging, machines growling, hammering, things thrown, debries falling, boards slamming and of course topped off with the shouting and yelling of workers in languages I can't recognize nor understand.

When this whole thing started to affect our sleep 6 weeks ago, I called the police. Once, I called them 4 times in one week. And every time they come, they tell me that they can't really do anything about it but ask the construction Forman to keep it down a bit.

"They have a 24hr work permit from Dubai Municipality. Your best shot is to complain to the municipality," said one officer. "Tell them (Municipality) that they (contractor's workers) are too loud and you called the police several times and we already logged your complaints."

So, I googled Dubai Municipality to get their phone number and was happy to find that they host an an E-complaint system on their website. In all fariness, Dubai Municipality has always been a pioneer in eGovernment (process automation, online services...etc)..

Of course, to file a complaint, one has to apply for a username/password, fill forms and all that stuff. So, i did everything, wrote them a nice emotional letter and asked them a few questions

1. On what basis are these 24/7 permits are granted?
2. What governs these permits and what are his limitation. I can understand if the contractor is doing interior works like wiring, pluming or works that don't really produce disturbing noises, but doing actual construction work ALL NIGHT? In a RESIDENTIAL NEIBROUHOOD?
3. I saw the contractor's 24/7 permit and there were "conditions" - however the conditions were very vague and said things like: Contractor has to keep the noise down. Down in comparison to what? What is down and what is high?
4. What if the contractor doesn't keep them down? What will you do?
5. Since this is a serious issue of "disturbance of the piece," why can't the police do anything about it?
6. Shouldn't there be a mechanism for the contractor to ask permission of the surrounding buildings? Since it will be them who he will keep them awake all night?

And many other questions…

I told them that I challenge the municipality person who granted this contractor the 24/7 permit would bare to spend a night next to this construction site in the middle of this residential neighborhood.

It will only be then he will know how inappropriate, inconsiderate and socially irresponsible his decision was.

To my surprise, i got a call immediately the next day from the Municipality. A lady asked me all sorts of questions and I answered her back and told her I am ready Anytime, day or night, to escort your inspectors and show them proof of this contractor's acoustical violations. She said that someone will call me from the municipality and follow-up on this. She was also really nice and understanding.

No one called, the noise is still at it as i update this post and nothing happened.

So, the Dubai Municipality’s eGovernment systems are working like clock work. But things aren’t happening … can someone tell me where is the missing link?


  • I passed by your place the other day to pick up some stuff from the pet store for Peter (my turtoise :D ) and saw lots of ghabra and contruction. I said God help him if he wants to open the windows.

    Be patient for a couple of more days and complain about them not getting back to your complaints.

    Hope the little one is able to sleep through all this.

    (and welcome back to DXB!)
    (PS I moved me blog to wordpress so update your links)

    By Blogger KJ, at July 20, 2008 at 10:10 AM  

  • Sadly it's a major problem in many areas of life in Dubai - plenty of talk about doing the right thing but very little actually happens.

    I'm in Dubai Marina so I know exactly what you mean about 24/7 construction!

    By Blogger Seabee, at July 20, 2008 at 12:24 PM  

  • first of all welcome back home bas ana za3lan shwy minnak.
    secondly i'm sorry to hear about this noise problem but i guess ur not alone in this big city of cranes. i am very glad they called u asap, but perhaps call the lady back to get an update. you cannot just be quiet about this noise. make he contractor work reasonably. otherwise i'll e-mail u with ways to screw the contractor.. i been screwed a few times u see....

    By Blogger BuJ, at July 20, 2008 at 5:27 PM  

  • lah ya buj - kello ella za3alak :)

    Man, to travel with a wife who is 5 months pregnant limits both your movements and options :)

    El jayat aktar men el raya7at

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 22, 2008 at 1:52 AM  

  • Mory, if you can get your neighbors (all of them, if possible) to also lodge a complaint about this matter to DM, it’s going to be much more effective.

    My guess is that the eventual recipient of your complaint is waiting for corroborating evidence from someone else to act on the matter.

    In the mean time, allah be3eenak. :)

    P.S.: who’s the owner of the building under construction? And who’s the contractor? (answers through FB as usual!)

    By Blogger DUBAI JAZZ, at July 22, 2008 at 8:52 AM  

  • Hi, It's April 5th 2011 and also 5:46am. I have a solution to these's called EGGS. I throw eggs at anything or anyone that wakes me up before 6 am cause that's MY law and that's what I think. If the workers complain to the company and the company tries to call the police then we'll al be able to be up at 5 am...and discuss it nicely..if I can't sleep, they can't work. That's the deal. So far it's working...and they haven't worked early..once in a while there's a total idiot who starts it all up right after prayer. I'm going down to the foreman this morning to warn him that there's going to be no noise, or there's going to be eggs before 6am. Take it or eat it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 6, 2011 at 5:48 AM  

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