Abu Dhabi residents complain of constant problems at Reem Island development

ABU DHABI // Flooding of garages, electrical wires submerged in water and areas of unfinished construction are some of the problems tenants of an apartment complex say they have to live with.

“I don’t understand how they had permission to open these towers,” said Nat Martins, 38, a resident of Hydra Avenue on Reem Island who moved into a studio flat in December.

The schoolteacher said she agreed to move in after being told that the problems in the City of Lights development would be addressed within a month.

Ms Martins said the most pressing of the issues was the flooding of the basement car park.

“It has been like this for two or three months now and we still have no idea where it is coming from,” she said.

The danger of the water was heightened, she said, by maintenance workers leaving electrical extension cords submerged.

“Every building has issues but I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ms Martins said.

Leaks from pipes above parking bays resulted in water damage to vehicles, including those belonging to Ms Martin and a Brazilian neighbour, both of whom complained.

Thiago Higino, 31, said he contacted property management about damage to his cars’ bodywork in May but was told by security guards two weeks ago to take care of the matter himself.

“It would cost me Dh800 and I’m not a rich man,” said the sports trainer, who moved into the building – which was developed by Hydra Properties – in April.

After calling and emailing property manager Three60 with pictures of the damage, he said he has not heard back.

A former tenant who left after his lease expired said it was the only thing he could do.

“It was the worst year of our lives,” said the Brition, who moved into a two-bedroom unit with his family in September.

He was also told that all the problems would be addressed within a month but he soon realised that was not the case.

“It was shocking. I have children who would repeatedly slip from the water leaks, and you have electric cables sitting in water in the garage,” he said. “Even the lifts were prone to water leaks.”

The resident said he knew there would be problems from the beginning when the door to his flat fell off its hinges while he moved in.

Protests about problems such as an extractor hood above his cooker that fed smoke into a cupboard rather than outside went unheeded, he said.

“I would complain to property management, who would tell me to go to the real estate agent, who tell me to contact the developer, who would tell me to contact the property management. It was a vicious and exhausting circle,” he said.

Ms Martins said many others were moving out and that she looked forward to her lease ending in December when she would follow suit.

“I just do not want people to be fooled like I was,” she said.

The handover of the first phase of City of Lights, which included 906 flats in three towers, started in April last year.

Once fully complete, Hydra Avenue will consist of six towers in two main clusters, with 2,292 apartments and 39 townhouses.

Three60 said: “Services are conducted to the highest industry standards. We are working closely with the developer to receive the remaining amenities and common facilities within the property to ensure the best possible living experience for the residents”.