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Residents permitted to re-enter Dubai Marina building after fire

Residents permitted to re-enter Dubai Marina building after fire

As of 9.30am on Wednesday, occupants from the Zen Tower were officially given permission to re-enter the residential building to retrieve their belongings, following the fire which broke out on Sunday.

Though some residents had been given supervised access prior to Wednesday to collect urgent items such as medication, the official retrieval process, in coordination with Dubai Police, commenced on Wednesday.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, a representative from Pristine Owners Association (building management for Zen Tower) said the whole process could take up to two days.

"So far residents have been allowed to enter flow by floor with supervision from Dubai Police. We didn't allow all occupants to enter the building at once as we had to avoid an influx of people."

Starting from the lower floors, he said residents have been allowed to re-enter their apartments for several hours in order to assess the damage to their property and collect what they need.

"Each visit will take approximately four hours per floor, so the whole process could take about two days," the representative said.

One of the first batch of residents to access the tower following the blaze were Indian residents Enakshi Manchanda and her husband. They resided on the second floor of the building and were inside when the fire broke out.

"I have been back and was able to rescue our passports and medication. The police have been supportive during the whole ordeal," she told Khaleej Times.

When asked how badly their apartment was damaged, Manchanda requested to refrain from giving further details.

Since the fire, the couple have been residing at a local hotel which opened their doors to those left temporally homeless by the incident. But Manchanda said they were informed on Wednesday that they have to check out by this weekend.

Though the hotel has been very supportive in their time of need, she said they now feel in limbo.

"I really don't know what to do or where to go. Maybe we will have to search for a place to rent for the time being."

And as the owners of their apartment (which they bought in 2016), they fear the time to claim insurance on their property could be very lengthy.

"Looking at the building inside, I don't think it will be an easy task."

Speaking to Khaleej Times from the hotel at noon on Wednesday, another Zen Tower occupant, R.K., said she was preparing to visit her apartment to collect some belongings.

"We were told that four to five apartments are more severely damaged and are sealed off. For safety reasons occupants of these properties will not be allowed to enter. The rest of us will get to know how bad the damage is to our property once we reach there. The building of course is safe to enter and we can bring down the belongings via the staircase."

Like the Manchanda's, R.K. said she was told by management that as of Sunday they will need to make their own arrangements regarding a place to stay.

"The insurance, over a due course of time, will provide settlement for owners only. The tenants will need to work with their respective owners to arrive at a settlement regarding the losses they have incurred."

When Khaleej Times questioned the building's management about where residents will be housed as of Sunday, he said tenants have to come to an agreement with their landlords, and owners would have to consult their insurance representatives.


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