UAE: Employees ask to work from home as vehicles remain submerged in parking lots

Motorists’ worst fear comes true as vehicles won’t start after rainwater seeped into engines

by

Waheed Abbas

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Sun 21 Apr 2024, 5:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 9:12 AM

Many motorists’ worst fears came true when their vehicles didn’t start as rainwater seeped into engines after remaining for three, four days in submerged parking lots.

In addition to applying for police certificates and follow-ups with insurance companies to get their vehicles repaired, another major challenge for motorists is that they are unable to resume their office tomorrow, on Monday, as their vehicles remain submerged six days after the rains.


Areas in Dubai and Sharjah such as Abu Shagara, Jamal Abdul Nasir, Al Majaz, Al Warsan, Discovery Gardens, Mudon and many others are still flooded and vehicles are submerged in those areas, making it inevitably impossible for them to work from the office.

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Since the record rains hit UAE on Tuesday, many employees in Dubai and Sharjah have been working from home for the past week. Now many car owners are forced to either extend their work from home, opt for rent-a-car or borrow it from friends in order to resume their work-from-office. Most of the residents are requesting their companies to extend their work-from-home option.

PM, who works as a sales and marketing executive, has taken special permission from his office to work from home in Abu Shaghara, Sharjah.

“I shared the photos and videos with my team for special permission to work from home. And they have given me a few days to settle down. So I plan to resume office in a week,” said PM, who requested to remain anonymous.

PM’s car has been submerged in rainwater for the past six days.

“We are sending photos of the flooded basement to the insurance company every day but they insist that they need to see the car with the number plate in the water. Once the water recedes, only then we can go into the basement and see the conditions of the vehicle," he said.

"We have comprehensive insurance for the vehicle but the Harley-Davidson bike is third-party insurance and this plan doesn’t cover floods or natural disasters. The bike has been insured for around Dh80,000,” he added.

Faisal Ahmed, a resident of Al Warsan 1 near International City, was fortunate to bring his car out of the basement parking of the building onto the ground floor parking before it was deluged with rainwater. But even the ground floor parking is flooded on the sixth day after the rains.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

“Cars are still submerged. People parked their vehicles randomly in a hurry on the ground floor when they realized that the basement would be submerged. Right now, working from home is the only option. And if I don’t get my car up and running soon, then I have to go for rent-a-car option,” he said.

Ahmed added that many car owners are still waiting for the water to recede in the basement so that they can go and click photos of their vehicles to send them to the insurance company.

“The basement is still flooded till the ceiling. Until the water around the building is pumped out, tankers cannot come in and drain the water out of the basement,” he said.

Upon checking his vehicle on the fifth day after the rain, Abu Aiman, a resident of Al Majaz in Sharjah, also found his vehicle submerged in the parking.

“When I went to check on my car after four days, the parking was completely flooded and vehicles were submerged. When I tried to unlock the door with the remote key, the vehicle’s lights didn’t flash. Then I realized that its battery is dead. Even the vehicle’s ignition has no sign of life,” said Aiman.

“Now I am concerned about how I’ll go to office. I need to drop my daughter to her school because it’s her exam. So I’m either going to borrow a vehicle from my friend or opt for a rent-a-car. For office, I’ll most likely opt for work from home before I could arrange an alternative vehicle,” added Aiman.

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