Residents simmer as Dewa delays put facilities on hold
WEAK LIGHTING AND AIR-CONDITIONING FOR DH9,000 A MONTH
For the last two months in an Al Barsha-2 residence, the lights flicker on and off, just one air conditioning unit operates per apartment, and only one elevator works.
All this for up to Dh9,000 per month in rent.
The 60 families and bachelors living in the new upscale apartment building are hoping they see light at the end of the tunnel after months without proper electricity.
“Beyond hell” is what one tenant, Areej Sharif, calls her experience. First the move-in date was delayed from December to February, she said, forcing her to shuffle from pricey weekly furnished apartments to staying with friends.
Areej knew something had gone wrong when she realised she changed her shoes in the back seat of her car every day before work and used the trunk to store footwear.
Tenants were told if they moved into their apartments in February, electricity would be connected in two weeks. Until then, a generator would power basic appliances, but not air conditioning.
“We thought, we can adapt, so a week or 15 days shouldn’t be a problem,” recalled another tenant. “But by mid-February, nothing happened and the weather started to get a little worse.”
With the heatwave came sleepless nights. “My twoyear-old daughter cried because she was so uncomfortable,” he said. On the weekend, his family fled to the mall to escape their muggy apartment.
Two months later, Al Barsha-2 is still without power, and tenants’ long simmering discontent is coming to a boil.
“It is definitely in the interests of [Dubai Electricity and Water Authority] Dewa to do everything on time,” said Abdullah Al Hajri, senior manager of corporate communications, Dewa. “However, in some cases external circumstances lead to delays.”
Obtaining the necessary no objection certificate from other agencies to commence digging the pipeline takes time, he said, and the route may be blocked by heavy equipment.
Several residents have complained to the property manger of Al Kazim Group, with issues stemming from the lack of power, to false promises made by the brokerage firm, to being left in the dark over when out- standing issues would be resolved.
The real estate broker, Concord Universe Real Estate, said they merely passed on the information given to them by Al Kazim.
Majid Al Kazim, managing director of Al Kazim Group, said they did everything by the book and couldn’t have predicted Dewa’s delay.
Al Kazim paid Dewa in November to connect the building, normally a threemonth process. But three months later, the building wasn’t connected.
“Dewa said it would be ready in a week. And then that week finished, and they promised in another week,” Al Kazim said. “According to this, we made promises to tenants.”
Since then, the property manager rented an additional generator, spending almost Dh30,000 on rental cost. Power could be connected as early as today, Al Kazim has been told. But they’ve all heard that before.