Abu Dhabi: Residents at a prominent residential project in Abu Dhabi have expressed concern about the quality of the properties and services offered by the developer. The issues came to the fore during the first meeting of the owners held last week.

But only about 15 owners or tenants of a total of 810 who have already occupied apartments at Al Muneera project at Al Raha beach development attended the meeting.

Senior executives of developer Aldar who attended the meeting took note of the grievances of the residents and offered to take remedial steps.

Some 1,400 apartments in 16 residential towers at Al Muneera have been handed over since November last year but only 810 apartments have been occupied as of Tuesday while other residents are gradually moving in, according to the developer.

Complaining about malfunctioning elevators, one resident said her children had been trapped inside an elevator for about 20 minutes and emergency calls had elicited a highly unsatisfactory response.

Executives of the developer attributed the incident to a technical snag which they said had been fixed immediately. They added that emergency buttons in the elevators alert a central control room that functions 24 hours and would ensure the presence of qualified personnel at the scene within two to three minutes.

Other residents complained that false fire alarms were frequently disturbing their sleep and called for the volume on the devices to be turned down. The executives said the alarms had not gone off by chance but were triggered by smoke detectors installed in kitchens. They said they were in touch with the Civil Defence Department to relocate the smoke detectors and reduce the loudness of the fire alarm systems.

In response to demands for more speed-breakers and mirrors to guide people in parking areas and enforcing a low speed limit within the development, the executives said they are studying a proposal from a resident who is a traffic expert.

Residents also demanded that the shortage of prayer halls be addressed and the executives promised to convert some areas reserved for other facilities into prayer halls.

Detailing a compiled list of maintenance issues raised by residents, Tareq Ghuneim, a resident said there had been no proper response to their complaints despite repeated reminders.

Another resident said the attitude of maintenance staff left much to be desired.

But some other residents took a less critical view. “I did not have any major problems here and I was very happy after moving here in July; some minor issues were exaggerated,” said Mohammad Al Mereikhi, an Emirati.

Ashraf Khalil, who owns an apartment at the development but resides in another leased apartment, said he was surprised to receive a senior manager at his apartment upon his request. “I had many complaints but I was happy that a senior manager visited me and listened to me.”

Sameer Ahmad Barakat, head of property management at Aldar, said owners associations at residential projects were meeting every three months in the presence of Aldar executives to discuss and sort out problems. “It was delayed in Al Muneera project because the properties are not fully occupied. Once all apartments are occupied, the owners association meetings can solve the issues,” he said.