Residents of The Greens see red over 'upgrade'

Homeowners in The Greens community are up in arms over a decision to replace natural greenery in the central courtyards with artificial turf.

Image Credit:Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News
A view of the construction work being undertaken inside Al Dhafra 1, The Greens, in Dubai on Monday. Residents areupset with the decision to replace some natural greenery with artificial turf.
Gulf News

Dubai: Homeowners in The Greens community are up in arms over a decision to replace natural greenery in the central courtyards with artificial turf.

More than 100 home owners have electronically signed an online petition criticising the action, undertaken by property owner Emaar Properties.

Nevertheless, work is proceeding fast in the courtyard at Al Dhafrah 1 and a sign has been put up saying that Emaar is "upgrading" the community courtyards at its own cost.

Roland Roth, a resident who initiated the petition, said that, according to Emaar, the greenery was being removed to prevent water from leaking into the underground garage.

"But you don't have to replace the greenery with artificial turf," he told Gulf News. The online petition states that while Dubai embraces the concept of green buildings to ensure a healthy, environmentally friendly city, "we are experiencing the opposite in The Greens". It points out that, since December, efforts have been under way to fix the water leaks from the plant boxes in the Al Dhafrah and Al Thayyal courtyards.

An Emaar spokeskesman said the upgrade was being being undertaken for the benefit of the owners and residents of the Al Dhafrah and Al Thayal communities. The two communities together have about 800 apartments. "It will resolve several issues of landscaping and drainage with respect to irrigation water in certain internal courtyards," he said.

"All other landscaping in the community will remain as normal. Only some areas of the courtyard are being replaced by maintenance-free synthetic turf, while natural trees and plants are being repositioned as per the new design. "The proposed design will ensure the long term sustainability of the community with respect to the common-area courtyards and will contribute to the reduction of maintenance costs in the future.

"Prior to the undertaking of the improvement measures, information, including plans and project timelines, were submitted for review in September 2008 to the Greens Homeowners Representative Committee, a body of owners who have represented the community for several years.

"Additionally, circulars informing owners and residents about the improvement works were sent out prior to commencement of the project."

However, some residents are not convinced that the change is for the better.

"I already miss the grass, the trees, the flowers, the birds, the nice air," tenant Siba Shakib notes on the petition. "Replacing green with concrete defeats the purpose of living in The Greens. It's enough that palm trees on Street Number 3 have been extracted in order to increase the size of the main road," wrote Khalid Nader.

The Greens was Emaar's fastest-selling property when it came onto the market.

What redressal can people have? Do residents have a say regarding common areas in residential complexes? Fill in the form bellow to send your comments.

Your comments

Its a shame in a place called 'Greens' the plants are artificial. It causes embarrassment for the residents in front of their guests, it's a very disrespectful and inconsiderate move.
Posted: February 17, 2009, 10:39

I understand they paid their money for the services they require. I also have my compnay in The Greens. I appeal they should bear with Emaar, they will overcome all these hurdles. no one is above challanges in life. We hope anyone of us should not encounter a challange that he or she cannot overcome. I am very sorry to all the resindents in The Greens. And also hope Emaar will swiftly ammend the necessary changes for us.
Posted: February 17, 2009, 09:29