Yes the UAE is a very safe place to live, but taking extra precautions to protect your house is never a bad idea
Dubai is undoubtedly a very safe place to set up home, with both the emirate and UAE at large ranking high within (and even topping) many world’s safest places lists year on year.
But that doesn’t mean you can let the basics of home security and safety be neglected; it pays to take charge of your contents insurance and preventive maintenance.
Whether you’re in the process of moving or are looking to add extra safety measures to your existing abode, here’s your checklist for keeping your house and family safe:
Fire alarm systems
The UAE is planning to implement the Hassantuk 24/7 smart monitoring, alert and control fire alarm system to connect more than 150,000 buildings, but don’t wait to take action. New laws are being ratified to make smoke alarms mandatory but if you need to arrange installation yourself, it is essential to have one alarm for each bedroom hallway and kitchen, with at least one per floor. There are different types of smoke alarms for sale, but a combination of heat sensing and optical alarms is recommended.
Villa residents concerned about security may want to consider a CCTV camera system. Call in the experts to assess your home before splashing out. Plus, you can sign up for the free Dubai Police home security service, which offers free drive-by home security checks when you’re travelling (available on iTunes and Google Play). Step it up a level and purchase a surveillance camera from partner Du from Dhs1,000, or sign up for the Transguard security system for Dhs649 (includes cameras, sensors and smoke detectors) plus Dhs195 per month for customer training. Both systems connect to police central command.
Creating a will for home owners
As homeowners, do you need to have a will drawn up locally? Home country laws of inheritance may not apply to movable and/or immovable assets in the UAE and the UAE Law of Inheritance could be applied after your passing: this can even affect the guardianship of children. To avoid the issues surrounding local laws, non-Muslims are strongly advised to secure a will.
“Despite the majority of long-term expats claiming they have assets in Dubai, only slightly more than 10% have a will registered in the UAE,” says Louise Wright, senior associate at Mahmood Hussain Law Firm.
Creating a will for renters
Is there really any point in having a will when you’re renting? Article 27 of Law No. (33) of 2008 Amending Law No. (26) of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the emirate of Dubai states that a tenancy contract does not expire upon the death of the landlord or the tenant. The contractual relationship continues with the heirs, unless the heirs of the tenant wish to terminate such relationship, provided that termination comes into effect no less than 30 days from the date of notifying the landlord of such intent or the expiry date of the tenancy contract, whichever comes first.
Annual premiums for home contents and personal possessions insurance roughly equates to 0.5% of the total coverage value, so it’s a security investment no-brainer.Building insurance is a legal requirement for homeowners and covers structural damage plus fire, flood, natural disasters, malicious damage and theft, as the major considerations. If you’re a landlord, it also covers tenant liability issues. Tower dwellers should also buy a policy for their apartment, separate to any overall building policy (plus home contents and personal possessions).
While no security solution is 100% effective, a physical deterrent on a villa will make someone think twice about breaking in. “Invest in screens made from robust materials that will last in the UAE’s extreme environment, and ensure they comply with internationally recognised security standards and the knife shear test,” says Katrina Wilton, Safety Screens (safetyscreens.ae). “Check they come with a quality latch and lock system, plus a multi-year warranty.”
If you’re renting, chances are the landlord won’t replace the locks prior to you moving in. There’s no legal requirement as such, but if it’s a non-negotiable, be prepared to pay. Landlord’s permission is a must.
Get a home safe
Only invest in a home safe certified by VdS, ECB-S or other recognised international institute (see the reverse of the safe door for a certification label) as these will have passed rigorous testing for burglary and fire protection. “Opt for an electronic lock versus a mechanical key lock – you can always misplace a key (the latest safes use biometric fingerprint locking),” advises Reiner Kaltenbach, Hartmann Tresore (safes.ae).
Three must-have security gadgets
- Ramp up your security with the Vimtag Outdoor Cloud IP Camera, Dhs499*, a camera equipped with a high-definition optical lens, four times zoom and wireless connection.
- The durable Fulcrum 20031-108 LED Motion Sensor Porch Light (white), Dhs129, is equipped with a wireless LED unit and a special lens for wide coverage (it is only available in store and colours may vary).
- Protect your valuables from fire, water and theft by keeping them in the Sentry SFW123FSC Digital Fire Safe, Dhs1,699, featuring 60% larger bolts in comparison to traditional safes and a pry-resistant hinge bar. All available from Al-Futtaim ACE.
Find out more about setting up home in Dubai here.
*Prices of products are as per January 2019