Dubai World utility dispute threatens air conditioning shut down

Rocky negotiations between two companies owned by Dubai World are playing out in the homes of residents of Shoreline Apartments on the Palm Jumeirah and in Discovery Gardens. Notices were put up in the buildings over the weekend from Palm District Cooling telling residents that their air conditioning would be cut off on Tuesday "due to the building owners continuing failure to enter into a legally binding contract with us". Residents should contact Nakheel with inquiries, the notices said.

Nakheel said in a statement today: "An error has been rectified. No utilities will be cut off." Palm District Cooling is a subsidiary of Palm Utilities, which is owned by Dubai World's investment company, Istithmar World Capital. Nakheel is also owned by Dubai World. Rupa Anwar, a representative for the owners association of Al Dabas building in the Shoreline Apartments, said she received calls throughout the weekend from concerned residents.

"My weekend was disastrous," she said. "People were absolutely distraught. We can't live without air conditioning in this climate." She said that a Nakheel representative told her this morning that residents could do nothing about the issue because it was a dispute between Nakheel and Palm District Cooling. "Being residents of the Palm Jumeirah, which is an elite class of living in Dubai, we feel that they shouldn't be sending out notices without warning that they are going to cut off the air conditioning," she said. "We're very upset."

Dania Mchourab, an owner of a small apartment in Discovery Gardens, said she told her tenant he could live in her family's villa if the air conditioning was turned off. "It's shameful," Ms Mchourab said. "They belong to the same company and they are putting us, poor souls, in the middle. What can we do? Go to the courts and file a lawsuit? There is no one to appeal to."


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