Dubai's Al Mulla Plaza incident: Residents opt for rent-a-car as vehicles remain stuck in basement

Some offices open one week after the collapse of part of the building, shops remain closed as investigation continues

by

Waheed Abbas

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Al Mulla Plaza. — FIle photo
Al Mulla Plaza. — FIle photo

Published: Tue 26 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 26 Dec 2023, 9:53 PM

One week after a part of Dubai’s popular Al Mulla Plaza collapsed, some of the cars parked in the building’s basement are still stuck there.

The Dubai Police had closed the basement parking after the incident and on Monday, a few residents said they were still using the public parking outside the building. Those who had their cars parked in the basement are waiting for the investigation to complete to get their vehicles released.

When Khaleej Times visited the site on Monday evening, retail outlets and parts of basement parking remained closed. A police officer has been stationed outside the building as the investigation was still underway. Only back-door access remained open for residents and office-goers.

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A statement issued by the Dubai Media Office after the incident on December 16 said the incident, caused by the improper storage of heavy materials, led to minor injuries to two people. Government departments responded rapidly to ensure the safety of everyone, including workers and visitors.

“It’s a bit challenge for people whose vehicles were damaged and got stuck in the basement. Therefore, I have no option but to opt for rent-a-car to commute to my office, deal with the insurance claims and go around for household shopping,” said a resident who asked to remain anonymous.

The Indian national, who has been a resident of the building with his family for nearly two years, had bought a car just 10 months ago.

“Now, I have to pay the instalment of Dh2,500 for my car as well as Dh3,000 monthly rent for the car. Since mine is a brand-new car, the vehicle is covered under comprehensive insurance policy.”

However, the vehicle owners are still waiting for clarity on whose insurance company will pay for the maintenance of the damaged vehicles. Once the investigation is complete, they will have more clarity about their claims.

Some offices reopen

Some of the offices in the building closed after the incident were reopened on Monday. However, retail units remained closed.

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After the collapse of a ceiling, authorities closed retail and office units but allowed residents to stay in.

The mixed-use plaza, which consists of residences, offices and retail units, has around 108 duplexes, 60 retail outlets and a few offices.

Thomas Joseph, who works in a company dealing in safety training, inspection and audit, confirmed that the offices were opened in the plaza on Monday afternoon.

“We are happy that our office has been opened so we can resume operations,” said Joseph, an Indian national, after he was allowed into his office for the first time on Monday since the incident on December 16.


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