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Emaar promises free repairs as Dubai launches sewerage system

Flooding in Dubai affected many people's homes. Emaar has promised .free repairs for its residents, and an upgraded sewerage system is planned Reuters
Flooding in Dubai affected many people's homes. Emaar has promised free repairs for its residents, and an upgraded sewerage system is planned
  • Emaar residents to get free repairs
  • $22bn sewerage system planned
  • Year’s rain in one day

Emaar Properties is offering free repairs to residents whose homes were damaged during this week’s extreme flooding, as Dubai also announced an AED80 billion ($22 billion) sewerage system.

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

Emaar’s founder Mohamed Alabbar said in a statement the company aimed “to ensure that our residents can return to their daily lives as swiftly and smoothly as possible”.

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

The Emaar announcement followed an order on Wednesday from UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan “to quickly work on studying the condition of infrastructure” across the Gulf state.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, on Friday announced a number of initiatives as part of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. 

One of the projects unveiled was the AED80 billion sewerage system, which will be built in partnership with the private sector and will be “one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable infrastructures”.

“The major urban areas of the UAE are coastal and on flat topography, so that ocean drainage may have limited effect during intense rainfall coupled with sea surges,” Mohammed Mahmoud, water resource management and climate change adaptation expert, told AGBI.

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

The UAE has experienced increased levels of rain in recent years and has taken actions to mitigate the impact. In January 2020, after another round of extreme rainfall, the government pledged AED500 million ($136 million) of new investment to safeguard the country’s infrastructure from the effects of flooding.

In 2021 work was completed on the $2.5 billion Deep Tunnel Storm Water System – a 10km tunnel measuring 11m in diameter, built 45m under the city in the southern area of the emirate, near the Expo 2020 site.

The tunnel drains stormwater from 40 percent of the city and is part of the UAE’s wider investment plan.

Householders in the UAE are counting the cost of the flooding as the huge clean-up operation continues, although Neeraj Gupta, CEO of Policybazaar UAE, said home insurance is still not common in the country.

“Weather events such as the unprecedented rains we saw this week act as a catalyst towards users trying to understand the need for the same,” he said.

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