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Qatar Rents Expected to Fall Further as Supply Exceeds Demand

Hot off the press, in today’s Peninsula:

Experts expect house rents to fall further
Web posted at: 9/28/2009 0:55:46
Source ::: The Peninsula
DOHA: Real estate experts estimate that some 6,000 new housing units have sprung up in Doha and its suburbs for uptake this year alone.

With supplies having gone up, the experts expect house rents to fall by a further five to 10 percent over the short term.

House rents are believed to have dropped between 30 and 40 percent until now, says the manager of a real estate company, Falah Matar.

“So due to higher supply, tenants now have a lot of option,” he added.

According to Khalifa Al Muslemani, another real estate expert, some 6,000 new housing units have come on the market this year, further pushing supplies higher.

These are both private and semi-government projects. “Higher supplies have led to a fall in rents,” added Al Muslemani.

Talking of the existing rent law which was enforced in early 2008 for two years, Matar said there was the need for a new legislation to replace it once it expires in February next year.

The proposed law should either lower the limit by which landlords can raise rents annually to five percent, or retain the existing limit of 10 percent.

He allayed fears among tenants that once the current rent law expires landlords would begin to raise rents unjustifiably like they did in the previous years.

He said that due to excess supplies, tenants facing this kind of pressure from property owners would have the option to leave and look for alternative accommodation.

Agreeing with this view, an official from a real estate agency, Mahmoud Al Jirsha said tenants need not worry about landlords raising rents unjustifiably because of huge supplies.

The situation in the previous years was different because housing supplies were limited and the demand was far too more. “Reverse is the case now as supplies far exceed demand,” he added.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Building, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, News, Social Issues | Leave a comment

Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa AlSanea

“Have you read Girls of Riyadh?” my friend asked me on the phone, and when I said I had not, she said she would bring it to me.

“It’s an easy read” she said, “it will take you an afternoon.”

Sometimes life intruded. It took me a little longer. I had expected this to be lightweight, along the lines of the shopaholic books, read ’em and forget ’em. Airport reading, stuff you save to read when you know you will have time to kill.

I was surprised. I guess I had gotten the impression it was lightweight because I had seen it discussed on some of the blogs, and there are some light-hearted moments in the book. The four young women are well drawn, and their experiences are handled with sensitivity. She never reveals which character from the book she is, but I have my suspicions. 🙂

Each girl has her own unique experiences as she reaches young womanhood, and mating. Although the experiences are treated deftly, there is a serious undercurrent that belies the light tone. The underlying circumstances surrounding the mating rituals in a country so tradition-bound as Saudi Arabia turn mating into a dark ritual, full of unseen pits and minefields.

The very worst fear during these years is the wagging tongues of others. I have heard this theme over and over in my own dealings with young women in this part of the world.

“You know, khalto, a woman’s reputation is like glass, it is easily shattered,” explained my young-woman Qatteri friend, solemnly.

(for my Western readers, Khalto means ‘aunt’ literally, and is a term used respectfully for family friends, meaning ‘sister of my mother’)

“I don’t want to get married,” she continued, “They come for you as a bride and they are so nice and they make you feel so in love with them, but then, when you are married, they change. Men are . . . men are . . ”

“Dogs?” I asked.

“Yes! Yes!,” she exclaimed, “Dogs!” (pause)

“How did you know, Khalto?”

LLLLOOOOLLLLLLLLLL! It’s one of those moments when you know we are all more alike than we are different.

Girls of Riyadh is a worthy read. It is thought-provoking, and compassion-provoking. You grow to love these girls, and you hope a happy ending for them.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Beauty, Books, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 15 Comments

Starting Monday with a Blonde Joke

An old, blind cowboy
wanders into an all-girl biker bar by

He finds his way to a bar stool and orders
some coffee.

After sitting there for a while, he yells to
the waiter: “Hey, you wanna’ hear a
blonde joke?”

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent.

In a very deep husky voice, the woman next to
him says: “Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I
think it is only fair, given that you are blind,
that you should know five things:

1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a
baseball bat.

2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.

3. I’m a 6 foot tall, 175 pound blonde woman
with a black belt in karate.

4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and
a professional weightlifter.

5. The lady to your right is blonde and a
professional wrestler.

Now, think about it seriously, Mister…., do you
still want to tell that joke?”

The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his
head, and mutters,

“No, not if
I’m gonna have to explain it five

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Joke | 9 Comments