Dubai Municipality has recently announced that now all expat residents of Dubai, living in rented and freehold residential properties in Dubai, have to pay the housing fees.
This means all expat tenants are now charged five per cent of the rent of their housing units and owners of freehold residential properties are charged five per cent of the rental value of their property as per the rental index of their areas issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).
It has been four years since Dubai Municipality started collecting housing fee for all general civic services it is providing through utility bills from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). Now, the municipality has stopped the registration of housing fee through its website and the fee will be automatically updated in the system through Dewa bills.
All existing customers who were not receiving bills have been billed by default. When somebody is moving into a new home or shifting from one to another, they will see their housing fee billed from their first Dewa bill itself as Dewa officials are uploading the rental value also along with other details for all the accounts.
If there is a change in the rental value of a housing unit, whether a decrease or an increase, occupants can get it corrected at Al Twar and Al Manara centres of the municipality.
It is interesting to note that Dubai Municipality had decided in the past to not to charge the Housing Fee.
Emiratis do not pay the charge, leading some residents to dub the fee an “expat tax”. This is one of the hidden costs of living in Dubai.