UAE rains: Some residents climb more than 2,000 stairs daily as lifts stop working

The company managing the building is working to pump out water from the flooded basement


Waheed Abbas

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New Zubaidi Building. Photos: Waheed Abbas
New Zubaidi Building. Photos: Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 11 Mar 2024, 5:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Mar 2024, 1:40 PM

Indian expat SS* commutes between his home and office multiple times in a day due to the nature of his work. But the 61-year-old has been forced to climb up and down more than 2,000 stairs of his apartment building every day after the elevators stopped working following heavy rains in Sharjah over the weekend.

A resident of the New Zubaidi Building on King Faisal Street, SS told Khaleej Times in an interview, “I go to the office in the morning and come back around the afternoon. Then, I go again after a few hours and return home in the evening. I have to walk 350 stairs in each direction because the elevators are not operational. The company managing the building is trying to pump out water from the flooded basement. Meanwhile, there is still some water on the road, and it smells.”

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When KT visited the site on Monday afternoon, elevators in the two towers were still not operational, and officials were trying to pump out water from the building’s basement. Although both the banks located on the ground floor as well as the apartments had electricity, the elevators were out of order.

A UAE resident for nearly 35 years, SS hoped that the company managing the building would be able to solve the problem soon as it has been proving a major hassle for tenants, especially those with physical ailments.

Jamal Abdul Nassir street
Jamal Abdul Nassir street

During the visit, KT saw tenants coming out from the building and complaining to the management officials on the site who were trying to coordinate with the Sharjah Municipality to arrange for trucks to flush out water from the basement.

ZA*, an Arab national in her 40s suffering from knee problems, also requested officials to expedite the process.

Al Khan signal
Al Khan signal

Unfortunately, two days after the rain, some areas in Al Khan an Al Majaz, Jamal Abdul Nasir Street and Al Wahda Street in front of Sharjah City Centre continue to be flooded on Monday afternoon.

The impact of rains could be seen everywhere as residents navigated waterlogged streets. A husband held his wife's hand as he helped her cross the flooded Jamal Abdul Nassir Street. Drivers parked their cars as much as they could along pedestrian footpaths and then used the front door on the passenger side to exit or re-enter their cars.

“My daughter had to skip her class today (Monday) because she takes the bus to her school in Dubai, but the bus stop is flooded,” said Umm-e-Aiman, an Al Majaz resident.

*Names withheld on request


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