RESIDENTS of the Palm Jumeirah, Dubais man-made island that is shaped like a giant date palm, are being forced to wash in the sea and visit lavatories at a nearby mall after a water pipe in one its exclusive apartment blocks ruptured. Severe plumbing problems hit the gated, seven-building Oceana complex on Sunday, and so far the property managers have not been able to fix them. The crisis means that, in temperatures of 107F (42C), Oceana residents have had to endure the ignominy of showering at nearby pools and scrubbing themselves down in the Arabian Gulf. For anyone needing to use the lavatory, there is only one option: public amenities at the local shopping centre. And management of the Oceana have given no timetable for when the pipes will be fixed. The dire sanitary situation is a far cry from the glossy images used to sell apartments at the Oceana. Flats in the complex, which is located on the Palms trunk or Golden Mile -, sell for between 280,000 for a one-bedroom unit and 500,000 for a three bedroom flat. The companys website claims that each apartment in the complex provides spacious layouts, high quality finishes and panoramic views to the garden, beach and marina. TG