Thursday, October 13, 2011

Al Reef Swimming Pool

There was an article in The National yesterday highlighting the problem of community pools not being taken care of properly, leading to skin irritation and illness. One of the pools they discussed was our community pool at Al Reef Villas (see picture). You can read the article here. (picture by RAVINDRANATH K / THE NATIONAL )

Now, we are very fortunate to have our own, albeit small, private pool, so we have not been affected by the closure of the community pool. And despite what the management say, there were already lots of complaints from people in the community about illness etc. before the Municipality got involved, so there is no way that the pool was closed for "maintenance". If the Municipality say that they asked to close it, I see no reason to disbelieve them, although for various reasons, I may well disbelieve the management.

They do have a habit of making things up - like when they said that the pit which holds our water pumps outside our house was filling up with water because we were washing the drive down with water, causing the pumps to fail. Er, no - it's because of the crap design where the main contractor has placed the pumps at the bottom of the pit below the ground water level!

We too have had issues with our own pool. Firstly, the heater/chiller unit kept failing - we are now on our 4th unit, which seems to be holding up (he says looking for the nearest piece of wood to touch) . We have a pool maintenance contract, but we are constantly chasing them because the pool cleaning has not been done, or has been done badly. This week our pool turned into something that resembled pea soup. They have thrown so much chlorine at the problem that the levels are now off the scale (I have taken to doing my own water tests now), so on our day off tomorrow, we will probably not be able to go in our own pool.

In the scheme of things though, these are minor irritations and we do like living in Al Reef. So, anyone thinking of moving here should not be overly alarmed I would say. The general feel of the place is good and does have a nice community atmosphere. The maintenance teams are friendly and helpful, but unfortunately are not usually given the right tools for the job, but this is not the workers' fault. We had a plumbing issue and the guy came promptly enough, but only armed with a screwdriver!

Oh well - all part and parcel of the colourful life living in the Middle East....


  1. Hi Neil!
    I am so glad I found your blog! Im seriously considering moving out to Al reef into a 5 bed with private pool but have heard so many things that I really need an insiders view!
    You say you have your own pool heater/chiller, do u need to have one, would the pool be too cold to go in without one? and if so how much does it cost? Also how much does it cost to maintain the pool?
    Additionally, Ive heard a lot of negatives about the burglaries happening in Al reef recently, are they really widespread?
    Sorry for the influx of questions, but I do hope I hear back from you!

  2. Hi SK ... happy to shre some thoughts with you. May be best if you email and I will be pleased to reply.

  3. Hi Neil. I've come across your blog doing some research on Al Reef Villas; looking at moving there. One thing I'm hoping you can comment on is noise (if any) from proximity to airport / flight path. I'm getting mixed reports on this from message boards I've looked at. Any 'on the spot' feedback from you on this issue would be appreciated. Thanks.

  4. Mikey,

    All I can say is that we have been here three years and never found it to be a problem at all, even when relaxing the garden. We live in the Arabian Village and I know some of the villas on Desert/ Mediterranean do back onto the airport and possibly could be more of a problem, but none of my friends there have said it is a major issue.

    Good luck!

  5. Yeesh. I'm sorry for the expression, but this is rather frustrating. Regualr swimming pool maintenance is mandatory, and everyone should know about that, especially the government.

  6. Interesting slant on cause an effect.

    The pump pit fills up with water every time you hose your drive down.

    So, you are stuck with a badly designed pit, but continue to wash the drive with water.

    No mate - your right. Not your fault at all.

    Sorry - not sure what kind of logic you are using there.