x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Apartment residents want to dip into their pools

Discovery Gardens residents have complained that their swimming pools have not yet opened almost two years after they moved in.

Michael Alendorff, a resident of Discovery Gardens, stands next to an unfinished pool in the Mediterranean cluster.
Michael Alendorff, a resident of Discovery Gardens, stands next to an unfinished pool in the Mediterranean cluster.

DUBAI // Almost two years after they moved in, residents at Discovery Gardens are frustrated that although the swimming pools they were promised have been built, they lack one vital factor - water.

Many say they are fed up and have almost given up hope of ever being able to use the pools that developer Nakheel promised when they moved in.

There are 13 pools, fitted out with changing facilities, dotted around the 2.4-sq-km development.

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"As far as I know the swimming pools have been finished and have been ready to use for about 18 months," said Michael Alendorff, a South African, who bought his one-bedroom apartment in 2007.

"Everything is in place except the water. In fact we haven't seen a single drop of water in the pools."

Mr Alendorff, who works in retail operations, decided to buy his apartment in the Mediterranean cluster while it was still under development, after being attracted by Nakheel's vision for the area.

"They said we would have these amazing swimming pools, gyms and beautifully landscaped common areas, and frankly that hasn't happened."

Like many owners, he has become so frustrated with the situation that he has stopped paying his maintenance fees.

"The fee was Dh26,000 last year and it's supposed to have been cut to Dh21,000 this time - but we haven't heard anything from Nakheel," he said.

Ahmed Tariq, a 50-year-old Egyptian project manager, bought his one-bedroom apartment for Dh1.1million in 2009. "Discovery Gardens was supposed to be this amazing community, but it's never happened," he said. "It's very frustrating because I walk past the pool every day and it's all done but there's no water."

An Indian resident of the Mediterranean cluster, who did not wish to be named, said: "I have two young children and the swimming pool would be great for them to play in.

"I want them to be in a location that is convenient and doesn't involve us having to drive all the way to the beach if we want to go swimming."

He admitted he was losing hope that the pools would ever open. "The pools look absolutely amazing but the closest we ever get is looking in through the railings, because everything is locked.

"Sometimes there's a security guard sitting on a chair but never any sign of them ever being in use. I think many of us have almost given up on them, and it's a real pity."

A spokeswoman for the contractor Al Naboodah said they were unable to comment due to client confidentiality agreements.

A Nakheel spokesman said in a statement that the company was "currently working on this … we are in the final stages now and expecting the commissioning and opening of the pools by summer this year."

But some residents remain sceptical.

nhanif@thenational.ae