UAE: Heavy rains cause power cuts, ceiling leaks, flooding in homes for some residents

Maintenance people report a dramatic rise in calls from distressed tenants since the onset of the new year



by

Anjana Sankar

Published: Mon 3 Jan 2022, 4:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 8:20 AM

The New Year started on a wet note for many residents as heavy rains and strong winds pounded the UAE since January 1, and the deluge continued on Monday.

The country has recorded a year's worth of rainfall since Thursday that has prompted the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) to issue a warning for "very turbulent sea and high waves." Active to "gale-force" winds are also expected, according to the ministry.

Cleaning and mopping took over New Year carousing for many residents as they struggled with broken ceilings, flooding and blocked drains. Many welcomed 2022 in darkness as electrical short-circuits caused power outages in some buildings.

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Shruti Sayed, a resident of Jumeirah Park by Nakheel, said her master bedroom and kids' bedroom were flooded on the second day of the rain.

"It felt like we are living in an ancient age…without proper housing," said Sayed. "Water was seeping through the windows and balcony doors. Initially, the roof was also dripping, and then on the second day, it was like someone had opened a tap in the middle of the bedroom," said Sayed, who lives in a four-bedroom home in the community.

She called the maintenance, and they said they "can't do much" as long as the rain continues. "We continued to have a waterfall from the roof and kids are roomless since last four days. We had to move them out of the bedroom," she said.

Another resident of a residential community near Al Qudra took to social media to share videos of flooded balconies. "Who said having a big balcony is fun?" asked the resident who shared pictures of his water-logged balcony.

"The weather is insane. We are without power since last two days," said another resident.

Many buildings were ill-equipped to deal with such heavy rainfall, and unstable weather meant a windfall in business for maintenance companies. Many said they were flooded with calls from residents for sealing roofs, electric work and cleaning up.

UAE Handyman Services said they are getting "dozens of calls" from clients mostly from areas like Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills, Springs and Meadows. "Most of the calls are about electric short circuits after the rain," said a staff member.

Jijo Jospeh, Site Operations Supervisor from Mittal Facility Management, said they cater to dozens of calls daily. "All are related to damages caused by rain. Flooding and power outages are the main issues we are dealing with. I am dispatching teams to Arabian Ranches, Jumeirah Islands, Damac Hills and even to Sharjah," said Joseph.

A supervisor at SPS Technical Cleaning Services said there has been a surge in calls since New Year. "People are calling us to fix leaking ceilings, clear drainage pipes and also to fix broken windows," said an employee.

Emaar Properties, one of the biggest builders in Dubai, has assured property owners and tenants that their maintenance issues would be addressed promptly.

"Dear valued Emaar tenants, our community management team is working 24/7 to assist you. I'm personally overseeing their progress and we assure you all units will be covered," Mohamed Alabbar, managing director of Emaar Properties tweeted on Sunday.

Residents' rain woes are unlikely to die soon as NCM has predicted that wet weather will continue until Tuesday.


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