ABU DHABI // Water poured from the ceilings at the capital's Marina Mall this weekend. The indoor squall was not the shopping centre's latest attempt to lure customers inside from the heat; water had been pouring from air conditioning vents for several days, drenching some shops and common areas, and creating an unusual spectacle for restaurant diners. Customers said at one point sheets of water were falling as cleaning staff tried to clean up the resulting pools on the floor.
Shop managers said maintenance staff had been trying to fix the problem, but as soon as one leak was plugged another started. Shahrm Sedaqat, the branch manager of Hatem Restaurant, said there had been intermittent problems with the air conditioning for about three weeks, resulting in three leaks and limited air conditioning. "Customers are constantly complaining about the heat because the AC is not releasing cool air," he said. "The maintenance fixed it more than five times, but it keeps getting damaged again.
"Four days ago, there was leakage above the cashier. We immediately covered the computer with plastic bags so it did not get damaged." Ten technicians tried to stop a leak at Elle fashion store, which started at 6am on Thursday. "Maintenance staff came one after the other, but the water did not stop leaking," said Mr Sedaqat, who was responsible for checking the Al Khaja Group stores. "The water was leaking all over the shop. I removed all the clothes from the shop so they didn't get damaged," he said. One shopkeeper at Chen One said: "We have problems with flooding in the shop often here in Marina Mall. Until recently, it was happening regularly and we've had damaged beds because of it."
Mukhalad al Asadi, the mall's co-ordinator and deputy technical manager, said the leaks occurred because retailers were delaying maintenance. "The AC machines need to be regularly cleaned so there is no overflow." @Email:email@example.com