Abu Dhabi tenants in limbo over Tawtheeq system

ABU DHABI // Property agents say they have hundreds of tenants left waiting without power because of a fault in the Tawtheeq housing registration system.

More than three weeks after the latest computer system was introduced, residents are still spending up to five hours queuing at the main Abu Dhabi Municipality building.

People cannot have utilities switched on, place their children in a school or apply for a Mawaqif parking permit without a Tawtheeq certificate.

Until recently, residents could visit Abu Dhabi Municipality’s satellite centres or register through their estate agent, as many agencies have access to the system from their offices.

But the networks have been down for more than two weeks, meaning hundreds of new tenants have to queue at the municipality’s main office.

The municipality has not responded to requests to comment on the situation.

At the weekend M P M Properties circulated messages to prospective tenants warning that “it is anticipated that there will be delays in issuing Tawtheeq contracts”.

Mahmoud Ismael, who works for another real estate agency, said his company is under pressure to get tenants into their homes.

“I have been coming here for 10 days for a municipal stamp but still I haven’t got one. We are losing our business and clients as we can’t do anything.

“They (the municipality) just tell us ‘send emails’ but they don’t reply.

“So far, I sent municipality over 50 emails but none of them have been answered.”

Mr Ismael has been trying to restore his company’s direct access to the Tawtheeq system, to no avail.

Many agencies pay Dh100 for each Tawtheeq attestation at their office, or pay Dh500 to get a username and password to directly access the system.

“I am so desperate that I am ready to pay Dh500 for urgent services but they don’t have it,” said Mr Ismail.

Residents have to visit the centre as early as 6.30am to grab a token for Tawtheeq services, as The National reported two weeks ago.

Once the token limit crosses 250 people, the municipality generally stops issuing tokens to residents, while the remaining hundreds of customers are turned away and asked to return the next day.

Siddiq Madathiparambil, a property manager, also has a backlog of tenants who cannot move into homes that do not have utilities.

“We have many tenancy contracts pending due to the Tawtheeq system. We are shuttling between the municipal offices to get a new username and password to access the system.”

“I paid Dh500 [for access to the system from my office].

“They would send me an SMS for date and time for training, then we would get a new username and password. I don’t know how long this will take.”

In recent days, many in line complained they had been waiting for about five hours.

Syrian resident Mohammed Al Ansari said he is desperate to have his Tawtheeq form renewed, as he fears the power to his apartment will be cut off.

He said: “That’s why I am in hurry to renew it.

“It’s surprising that one entity’s systematic failure is not considered an excuse to the other entity. And it [ADDC] demands utilities will be connected when Tawtheeq is done.

“I reached the municipality at 7am and received a token No 115 but still, I was waiting for my turn at 1pm.

“A small thing like Tawtheeq has created a huge problem.”

Although officials would not comment, a recent notice at the municipality reception read that Tawtheeq offices around the city would reopen.

These are located in Al Bateen, Marina Mall, Mussaffah and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall.

anwar@thenational.ae