Some Filipinos in Dubai are claiming that certain real estate agents there are refusing to rent out apartments to them, partly because of the odor of a Filipino dried fish delicacy.
According to a report of Gulf News on Thursday, watchmen in two buildings informed a Filipino couple — Rey and Cynthia Alfonso — about an unwritten "no-leasing-to-Filipinos" rule by landlords.
The couple also said landlords are not happy with the Filipinos' tendency to overcrowd rental units.
However, the couple said "it's a false generalization. In reality, no one wants to live in an overcrowded place."
Gulf News said unrelated people may share a flat. However, the Dubai Municipality strictly enforces the one-family-one-villa rule. Violators can be fined Dh1,000 to Dh50,000, it said.
Gulf News quoted Indian real estate agent Kumar as saying, "There's this one particular dried fish Filipino delicacy. I cannot blame them if they cook it and it's one of their favorite dishes. Even we Indians have some food that other people can't bear. But my landlord says this is one reason why Filipinos are not welcome in his building."
Kumar said "tuyo" (dried fish) fouls up rooms in centrally-cooled buildings.
Indian watchman Bagharam said a two-bedroom unit in their building is usualy rented out for Dh60,000 but is offered at Dh80,000 for Filipinos and Arabs.
Gulf News also quoted property agent Saeed as saying the building owner gave him specific orders not to take Filipinos, Chinese and Vietnamese as tenants. - VVP, GMA News