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Crown Prince tells developers to pay for Dubai flood clean-up 

Dubai flooding clean-up Reuters/Amr Alfiky
Residents move their belongings on a kayak at a flooded residential complex in Dubai
  • Many parts of emirate still under water
  • Affected residents must be offered housing
  • $22bn sewerage system announced

Dubai property developers have been ordered by the emirate’s Crown Prince to bring “normalcy” back to communities devastated by last week’s flooding – at no additional charge to tenants.

The UAE experienced its heaviest rains in 75 years last Tuesday. The downpour turned main roads, particularly in Dubai, into waterways, leaving motorists stranded and causing widespread damage to commercial and residential properties. 

Many parts of the emirate remain under water almost a week on, despite a massive clean-up operation.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also chairman of Dubai Executive Council, called on the Dubai Land Department and the Real Estate Regulatory Agency to coordinate recovery efforts.

All residential management companies and real estate developers must now offer alternative housing for affected residents. They must also look after any necessary food distribution, pest control services and enhanced security. This is all at no additional charge.

Once residents are able to return to their homes the companies must help them with interior cleaning services, with documenting the damage caused during the insurance coverage period and with assessing potential risks to properties – again, at no extra cost.

The UAE state-run news agency Wam said Sheikh Hamdan will personally monitor the progress of response measures.

He also established a committee to urgently review all requests from Emirati citizens affected by the heavy rains, prioritising the repair of the homes of those affected.

As part of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, Sheikh Hamdan announced plans for a AED80 billion ($22 billion) sewerage system.

Emaar Properties announced on Friday that it would repair all homes in its communities affected by the historic levels of rain, at no cost to residents.

In Sharjah the Arada Real Estate Development Company, alongside Sharjah Social Services Department, has allocated the Nest complex in the Aljada area to shelter 3,000 people affected by the weather.

The National Centre of Meteorology said 254mm of rain was recorded in 24 hours in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain last Tuesday. The UAE’s average annual rainfall is 140 to 200mm.

On Wednesday the president of the UAE issued an order “to quickly work on studying the condition of infrastructure” across the Gulf state.

Naji Skaf, managing director for the Middle East and Turkey at US water tech company Xylem, which has been heavily involved in the clean-up, said: “As demand continues to rise and new constraints emerge, it’s clear that larger-scale solutions are essential.”

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