x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Rain causes damage worth millions at Dubai's Ibn Battuta Mall

UAE weather: Shop owners at Ibn Battuta Mall say Monday's bad weather caused millions of dirhams worth of damage after ceilings collapsed in several stores.

The Little Gym, inside Ibn Batutta Mall, sustained significant damage during the recent rain.
The Little Gym, inside Ibn Batutta Mall, sustained significant damage during the recent rain.

DUBAI // Shop owners at Ibn Battuta Mall said Monday's bad weather caused millions of dirhams worth of damage after ceilings collapsed in several stores.

Many stores closed for safety reasons, with some still attending to damage yesterday. Buckets were placed around the mall as water continued to drip from the ceiling.

Staff who have worked at the mall since it opened in 2005 said the problem arises every time it rains heavily, causing financial losses.

The shoe and handbag store Nine West said business had suffered since Monday. The shop was closed until last night as ceiling repair and drying work was finished off.

"About 70 per cent of our back-store stock is damaged and that would amount to millions in loss," said one worker. "We have faced this issue in the past, several times. The major loss is not being able to serve our customers."

A section of the ceiling at fashion store NewYorker was temporarily plastered off and buckets were collecting dripping water.

Shopkeepers said they had raised the matter with mall management several times but without results.

A spokesman for Nakheel, which owns the mall, said: "We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible to ensure the safety and comfort of our tenants and customers."

Scott A Bernstein, director of The Little Gym, said they had asked management to waterproof the roof.

"We had to close for a week when it rained sometime back because the ceiling got damaged," he said. "We patched it up and now this has happened again.

"We will not be able to open for another two weeks."

The damage, Mr Bernstein said, means losing out on potential clients and having to reschedule missed classes.

The two-year-old gym has 450 children enrolled for sessions.

Mr Bernstein said the gym was still calculating the total loss incurred but expected it to run into millions.

He said the mall will not help cover the costs, despite the evident design flaws.

Debenhams, Kids Venture and Supercare pharmacy were among the other stores forced to close for a while on Monday, although none could give exact estimates on damage and loses.

aahmed@thenational.ae

 

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