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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Residents outraged as Pearl-Qatar remains without power

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Power outage on the Pearl
The Pearl-Qatar on Tuesday night.

With reporting from Peter Kovessy and Lesley Walker

Thousands of residents of the Pearl-Qatar are expressing frustration, confusion and anger over a lack of communication about the power outage on the island that continues from this morning.

The outage has left homes and businesses without electricity, with some saying they don’t have water, working elevators or hallway lighting.

It remains unclear when power will be restored.

However, the general manager of Lagoona Mall, whose A/C was temporarily affected because the Qatar Cool Plant on the Pearl is offline, said Kahramaa told him this morning that they hoped repairs would be completed within 24 hours. Qatar Cool has since installed a temporary fix for the shopping center.

One part of the Pearl that is functioning is the Marsa Malaz Kempinski. A spokesperson said the hotel is running off several generators and that all its restaurants remain open.

The hotel has electricity and had its water service restored around 9am, the spokesperson said.

However, the Marsa Malaz Kempinski’s main phone lines are offline. Those wishing to contact the hotel to make or confirm restaurant or room reservations are asked to call 7479-1034 or 7048-8883 instead.

This afternoon, island operator UDC said that Kahramaa has provided 16 generators to provide power to emergency areas on the Pearl. A spokesperson said this was for street lights by the roads and pathways and other public areas.

But in a statement on Facebook, UDC added:

“All residential and retail areas of The Pearl-Qatar will unfortunately remain effected until further notice, as Kahramaa continue to work towards fixing the electrical problem.”

Anger

Many residents have been sending messages to both UDC and Kahramaa to express their dissatisfaction with the outage and question why contingency plans were not already in place.

In tweets to residents, Kahramaa said the outage was caused by Al Shamal roadworks and that it was working to resolve the issue as fast as possible.

However, it also advised people to make alternative arrangements tonight if necessary.

Some people said they planned to stay with friends and relatives tonight, while others planned to check into a hotel.

The Shangri-La in West Bay told Doha News that it is offering Pearl residents 50 percent off for hotel rooms and 50 percent off buffet dinners at Sridan tonight.

For now, many questions asked by residents remain unanswered. For example, in a comment on the Pearl’s Facebook page today, Jörg Harengerd said:

Who will compensate for damaged food etc…? If not solved before night who can stay? How to reach 19th floor without elevator with small children… please provide solutions!

And Brigitte Robertson said:

“Please advise when are we likely to have our power back on. This needs a bigger team on the case. Can someone in authority advise us of a time scale. We seem to be pretty much left in the dark as we will be tonight. Totally unacceptable.”

For his part, when asked about potential compensation for residents affected by the outage, a UDC spokesperson said this would likely be an issue to raise with Kahramaa.

How are you handling the outage? Thoughts?

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