DUBAI // A group of police officers and their families who had to move home five years ago to make way for the Dubai Metro are preparing to move into new houses by the end of the year.
A Dh390 million housing project was undertaken by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to compensate families who were moved from Al Qusais to accommodate the construction of the Green Line there in 2007.
"As part of the functionality of the rail system, it is required to have a depot on either end of the line," explained Mr Abdullah Ali Al Madani, chief executive of RTA's Corporate technical support services division.
"One end of the Green Line happened the be in Al Qusais, where a Dubai Police residential neighbourhood was situated. We had no choice but to acquire the location to build our depot."
In 2007, the RTA demolished 322 homes to make way for the Green Line depot.
"The families have all been receiving compensation in the form of housing or rental coverage," Mr Al Madani said.
Annual compensation will stop when the keys to the new homes in Oud Al Muteena 2 are handed over to the officers at the end of the year.
The RTA began to build homes for the families in 2008 on a 180,000-square-metre plot, next to the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Programme project.
Each house cost the RTA about Dh700,000 and will be built on 288 sq metres, with a built-up area of 350 sq metres.
The homes have five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living rooms, a kitchen, maid's room, a majlis, and covered parking.
"We wanted to ensure that these homes were constructed to a very high standard, from central air conditioning to marble stairs and imported bathroom fixtures," said Mr Al Madani.
"We didn't just build houses, we took a desert and built a neighbourhood.
"We made sure they had complete infrastructure, including sewerage and stormwater network, and a fibre-optic data link."
The RTA has also built mosques, a social club, and a central park in the neighbourhood.
And to ensure the neighbourhood meets green building standards, all windows are tinted with double glazing, and thermal blocks were used in construction to improve heat insulation by 30 per cent.