Dubai: Plants are dying in large numbers in Discovery Gardens and the residents are blaming it on lack of regular watering and maintenance.
Many plants can be seen turning a golden yellow with their leaves dried up due to the heat as temperatures hover near 45 degrees Celsius during the day. The situation is compounded by a lack of adequate watering.
People living in the area say although sprinklers are installed in landscaped areas between the 291 buildings that make up the community, they have not seen them being used for some time.
Michael Alendorff, a South African who bought an apartment in the Mediterranean cluster in 2008, said he noticed the plants losing their colour and dying about a month ago.
He said: "The first plants that seemed to be dying were on the sides of the buildings. Many are completely shrivelled due to lack of water."
Another problem, residents say, is that the grass is not being cut as often as in the past.
"When I first moved here two years ago it was really nice. The grass was kept short and tidy and workmen made sure the plants were tended to.
"It was a beautiful place, but now the grass is cut maybe once a month. And it's not watered, so there are lots of brown patches while the smaller plants are falling to pieces. It just looks horrible. The workmen just pull the plants out now instead of replacing them or keeping them maintained," he said.
Residents say despite all this they still fork out an annual maintenance fee of around Dh23,000 - one of the highest in Dubai.
Alendorff said: "We are paying about Dh23 per square foot but I don't know what Nakheel is doing with the money. This place is called Discovery Gardens but the gardens part is quickly disappearing."
Briton Steve Findlay, who also lives in the Mediterranean cluster, said: "I know it's summer and plants are going to lose a lot of water but the sprinklers don't seem to work at all these days.
"When you drive around the clusters you will see lots of plants shrivelled and dead. Earlier, there used to be all kinds of colours and it used to feel so nice to walk and be around in the area. But that's all gone now. It doesn't look good for the area and the prices of apartments are dropping through the floor."
A comment from Nakheel was not available.