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Housing fee must for all

(Sajila Saseendran) / 7 June 2010

Dubai Municipality categorically made it clear that it will not spare any residential unit, be it in a gated community or a freehold property, from paying housing fee within six months.

Senior officials confirmed to Khaleej Times that the civic body had already prepared a list of major freehold properties in the emirate which would soon be served with a month’s notice to pay up housing fees.

However, Dubai Municipality (DM) has also decided to offer relief to home owners in free zones by allowing them to pay five per cent of the rental value estimated by RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) for their localities instead of the earlier fee of 0.5 per cent per annum of the total property purchase price.

These details were revealed after DM officially announced the launch of an online property registration system to collect housing fees, which was reported exclusively by Khaleej Times in May.

Announcing the launch of the integrated e-system in collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Director of Finance Department at DM, Arif Abdul Rahman Ahli said the project offered a modern, civilized and just method, to prevent manipulation.

“We have not told anyone (free hold properties) that the housing fee doesn’t apply to them though they are paying an amount to their developers for maintenance. The Municipality collects this fee not to serve any particular area. This is to offer various civic amenities and services across the emirate. These include environmental, health and infrastructural services,” said Ahli.

Abdulla Hashim Abdul Ghafoor, Head of Marketing and Housing Fees Unit in DM’s Finance Department, said the department recently revised the calculation of the housing fee applicable to home owners in free zones to make it reasonable as per the current property scenario. “We don’t think it is reasonable to make them pay 0.5 per cent of the property purchase value since the property rates have dropped due to recession. So, we applied the new calculation system based on RERA’s rental index,” he said, adding that the fee would be modified as and when RERA updates the rental index.

Those not registering their details a month after receiving the notice with their DEWA bills will also automatically have to pay five per cent of RERA rental index applicable in their areas. “Dubai Municipality or DEWA shall not bear any responsibility for this towards the customer or others,” said Ahli.

Officials said DM’s plan was to unify the method of collecting housing fee through DEWA bills on a monthly basis. 

New Rules

Who should pay the fee and how much?

All expatriate tenants and home owners in Dubai. Five per cent of the annual rents or five per cent of the rental estimate by RERA

What is the method?

Housing fee can be paid along with DEWA bills on a monthly basis

Where can one register details of houses for payment?

On housing fee registration link on www.dm.gov.ae

What types of residential units have to pay?

Villas, apartments, and labour accommodations

Villas in which free hold properties/gated communities have been listed for housing fee payment by owners?

Arabian Ranches, The Gardens, Green Community, Jumeirah Islands, Palm Jumeirah, The Meadows, The Springs and The Lakes

Apartments in which free hold properties/gated communities have been listed?

Discovery Gardens, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai Marina, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Down Town, The Gardens, The Greens, Green Community, International Media Production Zone, International City, Jumeriah Beach Residence, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Palm Jumeirah and MotorCity.

Labour accommodations in which areas have been listed?

Al Mina, Al Quoz, Jebel Ali, Dubai Industrial City, Dubai Investment Park and Muhaisnah.

What should the owners of properties not listed by DM do?

They still need to pay housing fee and mention their location separately

sajila@khaleejtimes.com

 
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