DUBAI: International City residents are at their wit's end over pools of water fouling up roads, taps running dry for days on end and broken tiles coming off walls and floors.
"It used to be that every winter we had flooding, and the smell was awful," said Nancy, an Iranian-Canadian resident who owns a unit in the Morocco cluster. "Now it's there even in summer."
Intermittent flooding near China and Morocco has been reported by residents since February.
Worse, last week, Nancy said their taps ran dry for five days. "The entire building was without water. We're told it was a water pump problem," said the businesswoman who bought her unit at the township five years ago. Nancy said in the first few days she had to bring in water from DragonMart.
"It was an expensive solution," she said. She then moved to a relative's place until the taps flowed again after five days.
A Nakheel spokesperson said: "As we are all aware, there was no water in some buildings in other clusters [but] those are already resolved by our service provider."
The spokesperson added that a few cases of electricity disruption in the China cluster due to a technical issue in the common area caused a short interruption of the water supply, but "due care has been given and services were restored". However, residents also have to contend with constant flooding from the lake near the Morocco and China clusters, which many find a huge turn-off.
"When you want to walk around or drive in this area, it's sickening," said Ahmad, a Pakistani.
The spokesperson said they are aware of the problem and that "Nakheel is working with its contractors and consultants to study and execute permanent solutions to the said issues".
The spokesperson said they are pumping out the excess water.
Flor, an Asian resident, also complained about "half-hearted" maintenance. The investor said she reported the matter to Nakheel and even sent them pictures of tiles coming off walls and floors but no action was taken. A resident confirmed that early this week, maintenance staff came to replace the broken tiles and clean the AC units.
Reacting to this complaint, the spokesperson said that the solution to any maintenance-related issues depends on the type of property within IC as there are leasehold, freehold, commercial business development, Limitless and single-owners buildings within the area.
But the residents are far from convinced. "I moved here because I felt the development, would solve the lack of affordable housing in Dubai. But now the place has turned into a virtual Sonapur, a workers' accommodation, with bachelors dominating the area," said P.S. a resident of England Cluster.
"Initially," said an Indian investor, "someone from Nakheel used to visit all the apartments and take note of how many people are staying in one flat. Now no one cares. If this continues, families will move out and more and more bachelors will move in, making it a Bachelors City."