Satwa is one of the last remaining areas of central Dubai where housing is affordable for people with low-incomes and is home for thousands of families and bachelors from the Philippines and Indian subcontinent.
Land and home owners in the area are being compensated at upto twice the value of their properties, a source has told ArabianBusiness.com, while Dubai's Land Department told Time Out Dubai that some tenants are being given up to 80,000 dirhams (21,700 dollars) to find new housing and that low-income Emirates are being rehoused in new villas.
However, the thousands of 'illegals' that live in the area, estimated to be as high as 60 to 70 per cent of its population, are unlikely to receive any compensation.
Dubai is at the centre of a region-wide construction boom and the old living quarters of Satwa, borders the high value downtown Dubai.
''These low-quality villas and the illegal inhabitants they house simply can not continue to exist so close to Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road and the heart of the city. Not in such prime real estate,'' the source added.