Air conditioning shut off at Dubai's Motor City over pay row

Service provider switches off air conditioning in common areas due to unpaid bills

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Mar 1: View of the residential project by  Union Properties at Motor City in Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) *** Local Caption ***  PS02- MOTOR CITY.jpg

Dubai residents have been left sweating it out after their air conditioning was switched off last weekend.

A dispute between the service provider, building developers and the owners’ association led to air conditioning being turned off in the common areas of a number of properties in Motor City.

Emicool, the service provider, sent an email to homeowners informing them that the action had been taken due to “long overdue payments”.

One homeowner, who asked not to be named, told The National that he had been informed that the overdue payments amounted to almost Dh50million, across 40 properties in Motor City.

“It’s unfair that everyone should be punished because some homeowners have not paid what they owe,” he said.

“We received an email saying they had turned off the air conditioning in common areas but it has also affected the temperature in our apartments.

“It’s not cooling below 27 to 28 degrees.”

He was also critical of Emicool for taking the action, adding that it was unfair on cleaning staff who had no choice but to work in the common areas.

“The cleaning staff have to work in conditions without air conditioning even though this dispute has absolutely nothing to do with them,” he said.

He also lashed out at developers Union Properties for not doing more to help the homeowners in their buildings.

“They have just washed their hands of it,” he said.

“They have brushed it aside and it does not feel like anyone is prepared to listen to us.”

Union Properties denied they had any responsibility for the issues with air conditioning being switched off in their properties, saying the matter was between Emicool and the home owners.

“We wish to place on record that Union Properties is not involved in operations of this matter as such operations are run by the owners’ association management entity Edacom, that is in active communication with the service provider and the relevant authorities to ensure a speedy resolution,” said a spokesman, who stated that Edacom, a subsidiary of Union Properties, only acted to facilitate payments from the home owners.

“While Edacom remains available to assist residents, we believe residents have the right to communicate their concerns to the relevant authorities, including Dubai Police in case the service provider disrupts services in the future.”

Emicool were not available for comment.