Dubai: Residents of Dubai’s International City have mixed feelings about their homes and its location. While the area is relatively cheap compared with the sky-high rent in other communities in Dubai, some residents are not entirely happy with the area.

The main issues are parking, on-site facilities, signage and the smell of sewage that sometimes hangs over the area.

F.Z., a resident of the Persia Cluster, has been living in International City for more than two years. “The smell is really bad, especially when there’s a wind blowing.”

The smell originates from the nearby Al Aweer sewage plant, which reportedly cannot cope with the amount of sewage delivered.

Rashid Al Helli, Nakheel’s general manager for International City, said: “Nakheel has commissioned and completed an independent study into the Dubai Municipality Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), which is located close to International City. The resulting report recommended upgrading the STP to accommodate the rapid growth of Dubai’s development and following discussions with the municipality, upgrading work commenced on the plant in October 2007. This work is due to be completed by June 2008.”

Another issue for some residents is the lack of signage. F.Z. said: “There’s no signage to show people how to get here. There’s 50,000 people living here now so it should be sign-posted.”

Al Helli said additional internal road signage will be in place by the end of the summer 2008.

F.Z. also complained about the lack of facilities. “There’s only a small number of laundries, restaurants and shops.”

Al Helli commented: “International City is now fast establishing itself as a vibrant community, providing much needed affordable living with excellent facilities for a broad range of people in Dubai. Facilities are continuing to be made available, landscaping is well underway, and community events are regularly being held, including a hugely successful basketball tournament.”

Traffic problems are caused by a large number of sewage trucks that pull in on the hard shoulder by the International City main entrance at the Dragon Mart, slowing traffic down and causing a road hazard.

J.H. a secretary from the UK, said: “Big trucks pull in on the side of the road by the main entrance, making cars drive across two lanes. It’s very dangerous.”

M.M. a resident of the China Cluster for the last two years, believes that the reason for the traffic is a diversion from a currently closed roundabout.

Al Helli said there are currently four access points to International City and the main entrance will be ready before the end of this year. However, despite these issues, Dubai residents are still attracted to the area.

Rising rent

One married couple who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Property prices are so high in Dubai that there are few places left that are affordable. We currently live in The Greens but, with increased rent, it’s no longer possible for us to stay there. While International City may be a bit deserted at the moment, I think it will soon fill up as people are forced further and further out of the city just to afford a roof over their heads.”

J.H. also moved to the area because of rising rent. “I used to live in Umm Suqeim where my rent was Dh78,000 a year. I I moved to International City where a studio is Dh40,000 a year. It is almost half the price.”

Do you know anyone who lives in the area? Do they suffer from the same problem? How has it impacted their stay?