Employees at the Dubai Machines shop where they work in shifts to cope with the heat. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Tenants of a commercial building in Dubai Silicon Oasis are suffering from an on-and-off air-conditioning system for the past month that they said has affected their businesses and the performance of their employees.

Tenants of IT Plaza, a 15-storey commercial building in Silicon Oasis, said the chillers of the building have been malfunctioning since the start of Ramadan, increasing the discomfort and heat within its rented office spaces.

“Ninety per cent of the time there is no AC. It started sporadically at the onset of Ramadan. Sometimes AC is there, sometimes it’s not,” Armughan Mohammad, director of marketing and business development at Dubai Machines, told Gulf News.

“Apart from the direct impact on the health of the people, we are losing business due to the reduced performance of our sales staff,” he added.

Mohammad Zeeshan Hussain, CEO of Dubai Machines, said they work in shifts in order to cope with the heat.

“We work for two hours and then take a break. Then come back after that. I have been forced to give my employees days off on occasions when there is completely no AC,” Hussain said.

Awan, one of the employees, said the heat is suffocating and he has been having some breathing difficulty whenever he is in the office.

Hussain has purchased two pedestal fans and one wall fan to circulate air within the office.

Gulf News visited the building on Thursday and noted the lack of cool air in many shops although there was some ventilation in the common areas. A restaurant has added two cooling fans for their customers’ comfort. At a printing shop opposite Hussain’s office, warm air was immediately felt upon opening the door.

“It’s extremely hot in here. We have to turn off our big printing machines due to heat generation [as they contribute to the heat in the room],” Nitin, manager of the printing shop, said.

“We have sent some of our projects to another branch to cope with the load. Even our clients get frustrated when they come here,” he added.

Apart from the chiller problems, tenants said there are major cleaning issues in the toilets and the prayer rooms in the building.

Mohammad Shiraz, the building manager of IT Plaza, said that they are aware of the problem and are working hard to resolve the issues. He clarified that there is AC in the building although the chillers are not working 100 per cent.

“Yes, there are some maintenance issues with the chillers but maintenance work is already in the process. A contractor has already been hired. There is some repair work that needs to be done and some parts have to be replaced and this will take some time,” Shiraz told Gulf News, adding it could take about two to three weeks for the work to be completed.

Shiraz said their owners’ association acquired the tower only in June this year. But they inherited many problems from the former management, including operational and financial issues.