x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Flooding near Dubai's Ibn Battuta Mall leaves mud and debris in its wake

Work crews have been braving 45°C midday heat to clear away the debris but the operation is expected to continue for at least another two days, according to a spokeswoman for Nakheel.

Some people were forced to abandon their cars over the weekend as the water got into engines and they were unable to drive out after a water pipe burst around The Gardens building by Ibn Battuta Mall. Razan Alzayani / The National
Some people were forced to abandon their cars over the weekend as the water got into engines and they were unable to drive out after a water pipe burst around The Gardens building by Ibn Battuta Mall. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // Four days after a burst pipe sent thousands of gallons of water flooding on to the streets near Ibn Battuta Mall the clean-up operation is still continuing.

As the main exit from Sheikh Zayed Road to Discovery Gardens reopened yesterday morning, teams from Dewa, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the developer, Nakheel, were working to clear the mess left behind as the waters receded.

The flood waters dislodged metal pipes, which could be seen on the roadside, and even uprooted large recycling bins around the area behind the mall’s China Court.

Work crews braved temperatures of up to 45°C to clear the debris with large excavators and spades.

“We have called in contractors to repair damage to the pavements and we are also working closely with Dewa and the RTA,” said a spokeswoman for Nakheel.

“Although most of the roads have been reopened, the one where the water main burst remains closed off for the time being.

“Most of the flooding has now gone but there are still areas where there is mud and water, and clean-up crews are working on those.”

The operation is expected to continue for another couple of days, she said.

The pipe burst at about 10pm on Thursday night flooding parts of the cinema and China Court car parks as well as roads in and around The Gardens residential area.

Many people were forced to abandon their cars over the weekend as the water got into engines and they were unable to drive out.

However, a knock-on effect for the mall was an increase in footfall.

“We think many of the visitors who came on Friday were people living in the area with nowhere else to go because the roads were closed or flooded,” said the Nakheel spokeswoman.

An estimated 5,000 extra visitors came through the doors on Friday.

Although water supplies were affected for a period on Friday at the mall, residents living nearby said they had not experienced problems with their services.

“The water and air conditioning did not cut out after the water main burst,” said an Indian resident of The Gardens 4.

“The big problem for people here was the lack of parking.

“They closed the basement parking after the flood and it was very difficult to find anywhere else to park as the roads were blocked or covered with water.”

The closure of the main road leading to Discovery Gardens, the mall and The Gardens from Thursday night to Sunday morning caused chaos as motorists sought other routes in and out of the neighbourhood, or waited for more than 30 minutes for long queues of gridlocked cars to move.

Exit 25 off Sheikh Zayed Road saw bumper to bumper traffic jams stretching as far back as the Ibn Battuta Metro Station.

Flood water also got into a nearby power generator on Thursday night causing an explosion and small fire, which was quickly brought under control by Civil Defence crews.

nhanif@thenational.ae