news image

Once-green landscaped residential area in Dubai is barren, tenants complain

2015-08-08 12:27:07

The once-green landscape of a residential area in the city is now barren as plants, grass and trees have died after an irrigation system stopped working nearly a year ago.

Residents of the Zen Cluster at Discovery Gardens said that despite repeated calls to the developer, Nakheel, the automatic system was not fixed and the situation had deteriorated in recent weeks.

Discovery Gardens resident Midhun Chayanani inspects the dried-up landscape in the Dubai neighbourhood.

Resident Midhun Chayanani, 31, said like himself many of the tenants were fed up with the problem.

“I’ve lived in Discovery Gardens since 2013 and the difference in the landscape from then to now is striking,” said the Indian.

“But for the last 10 months or so the irrigation system in the Zen Cluster has stopped working.”

This has resulted in the once-green areas where children would play drying up, he said.

“The grass has pretty much died off, as have the plants and the trees, some which are 12 years old,” Mr Chayanani said.

“The dead plants have been removed from parts of the commercial area as you come into Discovery Gardens and it looks like a desert now.”

The issue became further complicated when the original landscaper’s contract ended in April and a new company started in June.

“I’ve contacted Nakheel repeatedly over the last 10 months, pretty much on a weekly basis since April, but no one seems to be taking responsibility,” Mr Chayanani said.

“I had a chat with the contractor who said it was a technical issue that Nakheel had to deal with but Nakheel says it’s the contractor.

“They have occasionally sent out workers to manually irrigate the plants after I have complained but that isn’t enough.”

Mr Chayanani, who works as an immigration lawyer and is paying Dh42,000 for a studio apartment, said he was looking to move when his contract expired in March.

“I love nature and enjoyed living in Discovery Gardens when I first moved here but that has all gone now,” he said.

“My rent payment includes the cost of the service charges, which is supposed to go to maintaining communal areas but that isn’t happening as far as I can see.

“The prices for a one-bedroom in Dubai Investments Park, for example, are also more affordable so that’s where I’ll probably move to.”

A 26-year-old woman who lives in the same cluster said the parched landscape had been a problem for about a year.

“I came here on a visit about two years ago and it was really nice and very green,” said the Indian mother of one.

“It’s rare to find a place like that in Dubai and, when I moved here about 18 months ago, things were initially fine.

“Unfortunately, from last year the landscaping has become very dry and most of the plants have died.”

The issue was focused in the Zen Cluster at Street 2, with other parts of Discovery Gardens unaffected.

“I’ve complained and I think a few others have as well but it hasn’t been resolved,” she said.

“Our contract comes up at the end of this year and initially we were thinking about moving elsewhere in Discovery Gardens but now I think we’ll look for something outside of the area.”

A Nakheel spokeswoman said the company was aware of the issue.

“We are working on rectifying this matter,” she said. “In the meantime, we apologise for the inconvenience.”