Outdoor projects delayed as result of atypical downpour

Work on outdoor projects came to a standstill in the UAE last month after torrential rains drenched the region for a non-stop four days.

Suppliers experienced delays in sending out and receiving new stock due to the unexpected slew of rain in the UAE last month.
Suppliers experienced delays in sending out and receiving new stock due to the unexpected slew of rain in the UAE last month.

Work on outdoor projects came to a standstill in the UAE last month after torrential rains drenched the region for a non-stop four days.

The rain, which saturated Dubai and its neighbouring emirates, caused no end of problems for firms with flooded sites, staff shortages, and difficulties receiving and sending supplies just some of the problems experienced.

"We've not been able to do any work on site especially the landscaping and gardening work that we do," said Riaz Barkar, general manager at Proturf International, which does golf course landscaping. "Work has completely stopped on all four sites that we are currently working on," he said.

"Our work is outdoor work so outside is closed for the last two days now. Getting staff to the site is impossible," added Jamal Ahmad, manager of Cosmoscape Landscape and Irrigation Services.

Approximately 108.8 mm of rain fell in Dubai during January 11-16, according to the Dubai International Airport metrological office, against average rainfall for the entire month of January of 15.6mm.

A spokesperson at the Met added that a number of contractors had been in contact over insurance claims.

Sharjah was one of the worst affected areas with locally based residents unable to get to work.

The atypical weather also created problems in delivering goods, said Annie Hayes, managing partner at hardscape supplier Stone Concepts, with stocks delayed at the port.

Managers' problems were exacerbated when a last minute public holiday was declared for all businesses in Dubai on January 14 due to the visit by US president George Bush.

The move is expected to have cost the economy US$117.6 million in total.

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