Dubai’s Emaar threatens to turn off Burj Khalifa lifts for residents

Developer threatens to cut off access to facilities in world’s tallest building in service charges spat

Dubai developer Emaar Properties has threatened to cut access to facilities in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, including elevators, over a dispute related to service charge payments.

According to Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper, access to elevators, gyms and pools, as well as air conditioning, were due to be cut off on Saturday, before tenants were given a reprieve.

Emaar is said to have issued warning letters to tenants last month to residents that had not paid the fees.

“Burj Khalifa is a thriving lifestyle environment today, and we are committed to the welfare of the residents,” the company said in a statement emailed to Arabian Business on Monday.

“The service charges for residents go to the management and maintenance of the common areas, for the overall and long-term welfare of all residents.

“While most homeowners have paid their service charges, it has been noticed that a few owners are yet to make the payment. A circular has been issued to remind and urge residents to pay the service charges to ensure the seamless management of the common areas and other community amenities.

“For the welfare of all residents, it is the responsibility of individual homeowners to make the service charge on time.”

The 830m-tall Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010, contains residential apartments from floors 19 to 108.

Emaar has previously named and shamed residents that do not pay service charges at its Arabian Ranches development.

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Posted by: Kamran

As a tenant in one of the Burj Khalifa apartments, I signed my lease with the Al Fardan Group without knowing that they had not paid the fees. On Jan 29, the management served a notice on the discontinuation of amenities an elevator access which become effective Feb 7. Now I go up and down to access my car by walking on the ramp which is meant to be driven.

I feel like a hostage in the fight between two wealthy groups Emaar and Al Fardan Group which is owned by one of the wealthiest families in Dubai. While greed has an insatiable appetite, I cannot understand why I have been taken hostage. In the long run, everyone impacted is encouraged to write and spread the word so other bystanders do not fall victim to the tenancy of this white elephant.

Posted by: Doug

Congratulations guys - the story has now spread out of Dubai and is being picked up by media outlets across the world.

Great PR for Dubai, Emaar, and the Dubai real estate market, eh? Well done Emaar,

Posted by: Telcoguy

@Doug, Where is the apologist brigade when you need them?
This is such a great opportunity to tell people to take the airport road! Specially after walking down 2000 stairs? actually they could make "fitness" the main theme of 2020

@Heather, short of buying a fit-bit I see no solution. At least I will not provide some useless and sanctimonious advise, just keep in mind that blaming the victim (special if foreigner is the main past time here, maybe the only one that is not forbidden/sin)

@Gilbert, yes nobody likes free-riders but the solution is not to take a bystander as hostage and hold him for ransom. Well, here it clearly is, I wonder where this comes from

4 years ago I joked about this, considering this an impossible event. I considered that both this building and the Palm, because of their iconic nature, would be safe from snafus. Oh boy I was wrong.

Posted by: Paula Abbott

Nahkeel has done similar things to us on the Palm. First, it restricted beach access too only those up to date on fees. THEN they added key access cards to the building- and you could only get the access cards if you were uptodate with fees. NOW- they are not letting maids/workers into your building if you are not up to date with the fees. There needs to be a foreclosure allowed on behalf of the building- if the owners do not pay up.

Posted by: Telcoguy

A tenant signs a contract in January and pays in advance for one year, then the landlord stops paying? no amount of due diligence will prevent this from happening

This is not the right way to address the issue, it may take some time for you to understand it, but i think it is worth the effort

@SA1, I am not sure your comment is accurate. I have seen similar situations in Marina, pools out of work for months (or longer) only 1 elevator working for a 30 something levels building?

The messy legal system puts everyone at risk here:
-As a tenant you take a huge risk, paying 12 months in advance and having no legal recourse

-As a landlord you are caught between the less than professional management offered by the builders and the landlords who are either unable or unwilling to pay

As a tenant at least I have an earlier exit option, but this is a real mess, and I see no intention to fix it. Maybe because it only impacts foreigners, and the local companies benefit from it

Posted by: Sgnl78

Tenants should just use the staircase to spite Emaar.

Posted by: SA1

@Heather - choose not to stay in Burj. There are many other good buildings and very good landlords/management. Though not exactly high on status address.

In the rent you pay for Burj and the bing sournding it, you can have quality and stress free living elsewhere.

Posted by: Heather Mills

Dear SgnI78, I am a resident of Burj Khalifa and I live on the 106th floor. Are you honestly suggesting that I walk the 1,927 stairs to get to my car in the morning, and the same upstairs when I get home from work. Should I also go home for lunch it would take me so long to get up the stairs I would have to leave for work before I finish my sandwich. My friend wants me to take her to the cinema tonight which means that I would be downstairs 3 times and upstairs 3 times a day: 6 x 1,927 = 11,562 stairs.

Do you have any other ideas to spite the company as this one doesn't sound very appealing in practical terms?

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