Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

Ajman development left without internet access for four years

Residents of Paradise Lake Towers say they have been left in a 'nightmare' without internet access, with their building's management company never following through on promises to fix the issue

Apartment owner Mohammed Mazin, an IT professional by trade, in his apartment where he spends more than Dh1,000 a month for a basic 3G package. Antonie Robertson / The National
Apartment owner Mohammed Mazin, an IT professional by trade, in his apartment where he spends more than Dh1,000 a month for a basic 3G package. Antonie Robertson / The National

Residents of Paradise Lake Towers in Ajman say they have been left in a "nightmare" with no access to the internet for as long as four years in some cases due to incorrectly installed cables.

The complex, an eight-tower freehold project, is in Emirates City and residents in towers B6 and B9 have been left without internet access since 2015. Residents say the problem is caused by faulty fibre optic cabling, and although the management company responsible has promised to solve the issue on numerous occasions it has never been fixed.

The project was developed by Sweet Homes Group and is managed by Best Option Real Estate Agency.

For residents who need to study or work at home, life without the internet means regular trips to cafes or the mall, which is inconvenient and has left some regretting their choice to relocate to the development.

“It is a real nightmare,” said resident Mohammed Mazin, 37, from Syria, a father of two who works in the IT industry.

“I bought the apartment in 2016 and I wish I had not.

“How can anyone live without the internet? Especially seen as we need to be connected for almost everything nowadays.”

Mr Mazin, who lives in tower B9, said the building's internet cables were not installed correctly and according to the right standards.

“After I moved in, I called the internet provider to get connected, but was shocked when they informed me that the fibre optic cables had not been installed correctly and the developer needs to get them changed for us to get the service,” he said.

“I thought it was an easy process so I informed the management company, who promised that the issue would be solved soon.

“Three years later, and we are still waiting for the issue to be solved."

Paradise Lake Towers in Ajman. Antonie Robertson / The National
Paradise Lake Towers in Ajman. Antonie Robertson / The National

To study online and download entertainment apps for his children, Mr Mazin uses the internet whenever and wherever he can get a connection.

Another resident, Umm Yousef, 42, also from Syria, said that she takes her 20-year-old student daughter to the mall twice a week so she can complete her assignments and study using the Wifi connection.

“My daughter is an architecture student and needs the internet most of the time. No one told me about the issue when I moved in two years ago,” said the mother of four who lives in tower B9.

“I sit with her in a cafe at the mall and wait until she finishes.

“I also have two small children, aged four and eight, and they would both like to have the internet to download games and educational material. That puts more pressure on me."

Umm Yousef said that every time she asks the management company for a solution, they say only that the issue will be solved soon.

Meanwhile, she pays Dh500 a month for her family to communicate online, but a package with enough data to cover downloads would be "really expensive".

Apartment owner Khaled Salem shows the empty internet supply cable box.  Antonie Robertson / The National
Apartment owner Khaled Salem shows the empty internet supply cable box.  Antonie Robertson / The National

Khaled Salem, 29, an apartment owner from Yemen, said he has been without the internet for four years and is forced to pay for huge mobile packages as a result.

“I pay around Dh1,300 for data every month and I only live with my wife and two-year-old son,” he said.

“The management keep promising us that they will fix the issue, but nothing has happened so far and I don’t think it will cost them millions of dirhams."

Mr Salem, who lives in tower B6, said that tower B5 suffered from the same issue, but one of the apartment owners got so tired of life offline that he paid out of his own pocket to identify the faulty cables so they could be fixed.

“He paid around Dh6,000 for the internet provider to identify the problem. Then the building management company paid around Dh40,000 to have the cables changed. It’s not that expensive and can be done,” he said.

Sweet Homes Group and Best Option Real Estate Agency did not respond to requests for comment.

Updated: May 25, 2019 03:47 PM

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