Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

Yas Mall’s toilet troubles

Visitors – especially women – say that shopping mall needs more restrooms.
A toilet sign points to a restroom inside the Yas Mall. Some customers are unhappy with the facilities. Silvia Razgova / The National
A toilet sign points to a restroom inside the Yas Mall. Some customers are unhappy with the facilities. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Yas Mall visitors have complained about a lack of restrooms at the recently-opened shopping complex.

Reviews have been largely positive, but on the mall’s Facebook page lack of restrooms is the main complaint.

Customers objected to long queues at restrooms that can be difficult to find and too few toilets, particularly for women and children.

Others said they found changing rooms were unlit or lacked sanitary items such as soap.

After a woman was seen helping a toddler use a portable potty outside a shop in the mall, one British teacher blamed the incident on a lack of toilets.

“They are either flooded or locked and the one serviceable toilet you find will have long queues,” said C S, 35, a teacher. “I am pregnant and almost had an embarrassing accident looking for a toilet in this mall on more than one occasion.”

She said she has not encountered the same problem at other Abu Dhabi malls.

Gina Dillon, 49, an American expatriate who blogs on the website The Abu Dhabi PTA, said women should have additional stalls to accommodate not only the larger number of female shoppers but small children as well. Women take children into the restroom with them, said Ms Dillon.

The restrooms have large changing areas but fewer stalls, she said, adding that she and her friends had discussed the placement because men’s rooms are often located in a different area of the mall.

“It’s also very easy to mistake the restrooms for exits and service corridors since the signs are so difficult to read,” she said. “I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for an elderly person. For a new, contemporary mall the restrooms are just odd.”

A spokesman for the mall said it had been built in line with local and international standards.

“These standards ensure the provision of an appropriate number of essential amenities, such as prayer rooms, rest areas and bathrooms,” the spokesman said.

“Since opening, we have received very helpful feedback from the customers who enjoy Yas Mall, and we will continue to improve our service in response to this welcome feedback.”

The number of restrooms a mall includes can depend on several circumstances, said Steve Daggers, vice-president of communications at the International Code Council.

The council publishes the International Plumbing Code, mostly used in the US but which can be used as a reference in the UAE and adapted to local conditions. The variety of tenant spaces in malls and the additional “circulation space” may entail different demands for restrooms, said Mr Daggers.

Shopping centres and other mercantile buildings require one water closet (stall) per 500 occupants and one lavatory (toilet with a wash basin) per 750.

Theatres are recommended to have one water closet per 125 male occupants and one per 65 for women, with one lavatory for every 200 people. Food courts should have one water closet per 75 occupants for both men and women, and one lavatory per 200.

Yas Mall did not provide details of its restrooms or its occupant load.

lcarroll@thenational.ae

Updated: February 5, 2015 04:00 AM

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