Dozens of adults and children have fallen ill at the Palm Jumeirah after swimming in unkempt pools, according to a report in Gulf News today.
Many residents living on the Nakheel development project have been diagnosed with ear and eye infections, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and high fever after swimming in facilities located on the project's Shoreline Apartments.
The high volume of cases has prompted many residents to contact Nakheel as rumours circulate among the island community that the pools are not being cleaned regularly due to an alleged pay dispute between maintenance workers and the property developer.
Gulf News spoke to several Palm residents, who all wished to remain anonymous, about their experiences. G.H, a 39-year-old housewife from New Zealand, said: "My daughter has been suffering from diarrhoea, an upset stomach and a high temperature. I've also been feeling very sick after swimming in our pool. My husband had to take two days off [from] work to look after us both.
"The condition of the pools on the Palm at the moment is bad. The water is really murky and the tiles need [to be] scrubbed. I've spoken to [several] residents who have been suffering from stomach bugs and ear and eye infections. My daughter was unable to eat any solids for a week."
It costs between Dh600 and Dh700 per month to maintain a 100 cubic metre (100,000 litrespool in a villa. It costs approximately Dh1,500 for maintaining a public pool or a pool in a school, as it requires more chemicals and daily cleaning.
E.P, a 27-year-old housewife from the United States, said: "My six-month-old baby girl got sick after swimming in the pool... We usually go swimming everyday but lately I've noticed the pools don't seem to be getting cleaned. The sides of the pool were grimy and the water itself was cloudy. I stopped taking my child swimming once the water changed colour and I believe that is the reason my daughter only got a mild case of the virus.
"I know of many other children who got sick as well as a few adults."
Nakheel declined to comment on the matter.