Tuesday, February 07, 2006

House Facilities

According to Gulf News a growing number of Indian bachelors in Dubai who can no longer afford the rising rents have taken to sleeping in their cars. To compensate for these people's lack of homes other enterprising Indians have come up with the concept of a "house facility" wherein they have turned their flats into a place where others who don't have homes can store their luggage, use the bathroom, shower and iron their clothes against a fee of only 50 to 75 dirhams a month.

I see a scope for something similar here in Oman, but for Omanis not expats. And not because they don't have a place to stay but because they live so far away from where they work and can't afford their own transport. For example, I know a few Omanis who are currently jobless and come from great distances to Muscat every day looking for work. They tend to walk in the sun, hitchhike, and go from one cheap minbus tax to another.. By the time they get here to Muscat they are in no state to be entering anyone's office looking for a job. How about if they had access to facilities where they have a locker where they keep a couple changes of clothes and a shower. They can get to Muscat from wherever they've come from, take a shower, put on a clean dishdasha and then go to their job interviews, job hunt, or even their jobs when they find them all clean and proper.

It would be good income for owners of older apartment buildings whose rent might have come down too much. Fill the bedrooms with lockers in place of furniture. Put some ironing boards and irons in one room. Maybe even tie-up with a laundry. Make extra income from selling soap and shampoo, etc. It might be a good idea for mosques to take up this business too. For one they will be doing a great service for the people, and secondly they'd earn some income to help with the upkeep of the mosque and the salary of the imam.

How's that? Think it might work for just 5 rials a month per person?


8 comments:

Sree said...

Wouldn't it take a LONG while to break even on owning or renting the property where these housing centers are going to be built? RO 5.00 might be too less to start off with - I think it'll be a while before a large number of people start paying for this kind of monthly service. Otherwise its a great idea.

AkaRound Peg said...

Something is rotten in the state of Blogger!! I have not deleted your post reg Khimji Mart - they simply do not appear. There should be a total of 4 comments, 5 including your recent one, I dont know why they dont appear.

muscati said...

Hey sree, you didn't read my full post. I said it might be an idea for people who own old apartments whose rent has declined or for mosques. Something like this would never work if you have to invest in building one.

Mindazi said...

Too radical of an idea for building owners.
Mosques should do it, though.
Anyway, I thought it was illegal to sleep in your car in Dubai.

Mansur said...

I think it is just a sad state of affairs to come to a stage where people in Dubai are forced to sleep in cars. We should not even discussing ways to accomodate people who are sleeping in cars...what, are we like becoming a homeless nation too? I mean, Dubai, the self-proclaimed Vegas city, are having people who are sleeping in cars. I tell you, Dubai is the ideal place if you are a white britisher working in a high profile job. Then you are able to survive here, enjoying all the benefits. Otherwise, for people coming from the middle-lower class, they have no way to go. I am beginning to be convinced of the cinspiracy theory that dubai wants only rich people here and are indirectly forcing the poorer people to leave the country.

M

illogicist said...

I like the idea for mosques. I think that mosques should be more accomodating to travellers anyway. A place like that would be good. Its a bit tragic the situation in Dubai though, that makes me think theres got to be other solutions. But when it comes to people who travel distances, sounds good.

illogicist said...

I must stress however, that I think it should be approached from the direction of charity. The aim should be to help others out, and not to take advantage of the effectively homeless. Which is why I think mosques should be doing it. The prices they charge should be to cover costs of the operation, perhaps to contribute to the running of the mosque. I feel very strongly about that.

Mini_Cabrio said...

5 Rials per month per person!. That wont make a business sense for the owner at all. A one bedroom apartment in Oman goes anywhere between RO 100 to RO 150, doesnt matter how old the apartment is. If we assume RO 100 worst case scenario, than he would need at least 20 people per apartment. Do you know how physically impossible that is!. Plus I dont think the Menucipality would allowed, Hegine reasons itself should do the trick