Many people in Dubai and Sharjah who reside in areas that are still flooded said they didn’t plan to renew their tenancy contract upon expiry. They revealed their plans to relocate to other neighbourhoods which were less flooded.

Residents of some areas were struggling to return to their normal lives as streets were still flooded even six days after the rains on Tuesday, April 16. Areas in Al Majaz, Jamal Abdul Nasir, Al Wahda, Mudon, Warsan, Discovery Gardens and a few others were still flooded on Sunday evening and many tenants were forced out of the buildings as power and water were yet to be restored.

These areas of the two emirates were flooded in March this year also after heavy rains.

This has prompted residents to think not to renew their existing contract and relocating to areas that will not remain flooded even five days after the rains.

Syrian national SS, who has been residing in Discovery Gardens for nine years, said people have to wade through water to buy groceries.

“I saw a few tankers in Al Furjan to pump out water but didn’t see any tankers in the key streets here. I’ll most likely move out of the area because from Street 1 to 5, it is completely flooded. But Streets 8 to 11 are in a slightly better condition. Water is coming into my house. If I find a better option in the other areas, I’ll definitely go,” said SS.

Priya Prasana, an Abu Shagara resident for 9 years, recently renewed her tenancy contract, but she may not renew it upon completion.

“Looking at the current condition in the building and the area, we have to make a choice of moving out. When it’s time for the contract renewal next year, we will move out,” said Prasana, who lives in a building on Al Etisqlal Street, where the water level was still up to the knee level on Sunday.

“I’m now staying in a hotel with family. There is no water in the building, and the power comes on and off. So, we go to a nearby mosque to get drinking water because we plan to return to our home on Monday and we need water before that. Sometimes, we use mobile as a torch to climb up and down. Rainwater slightly receded in the building’s basement, but it is still flooded,” said Prasana, who lives on the third floor of the building, which is quite a challenge for her due to her physique.

“It is a very, very tough time for us. Parents are not keeping well back home in India and we cannot travel at the moment.”

Indian national Faisal Ahmed, resident of Warsan 1, said though tankers are pumping out the water, the area is still flooded even 6 days after the rain.

“The building is not accessible, and cars are submerged. We had to use makeshift boats to evacuate the families and children. The building owner didn’t turn up even after multiple messages from us. There are just a few families in the building and most have moved out. We had to rescue families with kids as young as one-month-old,” he said. Ahmed also said that they will look for alternative places after the expiry of the tenancy contract.

“Because we saw what happened in this entire area we realised there was a problem with the sewerage pipeline. This made water flowing to our areas from the neighbourhoods and that made things worse.”

Ahmed said the priority is to find a temporary alternative accommodation for himself as the building is not fit to live in as there is no electricity and water.

Abu Ayat, an Al Majaz resident, also echoed the same thoughts. “I’ll most likely move out to one of the areas which don’t get flooded. This is the second time this year that areas saw massive flooding. The situation was equally terrible in March this year when rains hit,” he said, who has been residing in the area for over a decade.

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