SHARJAH It’s an unusually cool and breezy morning for May, but unlike most who go about their daily chores around his AC (air conditioning) repair shop in Sharjah’s bustling Rolla area, Mohammad Mazhar is a disgruntled man.
The 48-year-old Pakistani who runs two AC repair shops – the other one in the emirate’s Industrial Area 6 – hates to see summer taking its own sweet time to peak this year. After all, the longer it remains this way, the less his chances are of making a profit.
In the UAE, summers may be a dreaded time for most, but not for Mazhar and his ilk who just love the sight of the sun in its full glare. They can’t wait for the mercury to soar over the 40s. “After all there is no other season like this that guarantees us the kind of money and work,” explains the man from Lahore who eagerly looks ahead to June and July and wishes May will get hotter faster.
“No doubt, these two are the months that make us and make up for the losses we count during the leaner periods as more ACs line up at our shops for either repair work or servicing,” adds the owner of the eponymous Mohammad Mazhar Technical Services company that currently has 10 technicians on its rolls, ready to be dispatched to a labour camp or a villa at a moment’s notice.
“Our season is pretty much from March to October, but June and July are the most crucial months because the money we make then accounts for the losses we incur in the winter months,” says Tahiruddin, who runs a similar technical company in Dubai’s Al Ghusais. “We have to hire anywhere between eight and 10 technicians to see off the summer months,” he adds.
By a conservative estimate, Tahiruddin, also from Lahore, makes about Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 for months between March and May and then between August and October but in June and July their incomes soar to Dh70,000 to Dh90,000.
Their scope of work too is vast. From split to windows to central ACs weighing up to four or five tons, Tahiruddin says everything is pure business during this time.
“We don’t say no to any customer – be it an Emirati living in a villa or a labour camp manager looking for a contract for a labour accommodation for 500 people. Our clientele too is diverse,” he says as he checks on a batch of ACs that just arrive in his shop for routine maintenance.
In Sharjah where window ACs are quite common, the standard servicing charge for a ‘pick and drop’ option is Dh60. The price is Dh150 or even higher – depending on the location in Sharjah or Dubai – for split ACs. The cost is much higher, ranging between Dh300 and Dh500, for central ACs weighing four to five tons.
“We are expecting the demand to increase soon as many deem servicing necessary ahead of the tough summer months. In any case, servicing must be done at least once every six months,” says Imran who works as an AC technician in an Ajman shop.
However, many come with genuine problems in their ACs like gas leakage and malfunctioning condensers. In split ACs the most common snag is often with the compressors,” he adds.