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Dubai Municipality pushing back plans to charge expat housing fees

Dubai expat housing feesDubai Municipality is pushing back its plans to charge all expat housing fees.

Currently, the housing fee is imposed in some residential districts of Dubai. The authorities have planned to roll it out across the emirate by June 2012.

However, a series of delays means only 65 percent of expats are currently being charged.

Housing fees, billed through residents’ monthly utility bills, are calculated at five percent of the tenant’s annual rent. Freehold property owners pay five percent of the annual rental value, as calculated by the RERA index.

Among the areas not yet fully covered include Al Barsha, Discovery Gardens, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa area and Dubai Marina.

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.

As one expat said, Dubai is replacing the word tax with fees.