Nakheel warns Palm residents: "it's our beach"

“It is not what people think they are entitled to,” Ali Rashed Lootah claims

“The beach belongs to Nakheel, it’s our beach,” the chairman of the government owned master developer, which is embroiled in an ongoing dispute with residents and tenants on the Palm Jumeirah over service charges, said in an interview this week.

“There’s no excuse for not paying. All our fees are approved by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and audited by auditors,” Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said in an interview with a local newspaper.

Nakheel’s long running battle with its customers on the Palm Jumeirah started last December when it banned more than 1,300 residents from using the beaches and gyms at its Shoreline Apartments residences and claimed it was owed US$20m in unpaid service charges.

The row escalated when Nakheel drained all six swimming pools at another development, its prestigious Marina Residences towers.

When asked if the developer planned to take control of the man-made island’s beach area Lootah said: “The beach belongs to Nakheel, it’s our beach. We will go as per the contract we sign. I don’t want to elaborate more. Whatever is there in the contract, we will respect it. It is not what people think they are entitled to.”

“People are not paying service charges. How can we arrange the necessary facilities? If nobody is attending the swimming pools, do I leave it unattended? What is the safest way to deal with it?” he added.

Lootah said that the situation had begun to improve and those with outstanding charges “have started to pay their dues”.

“I would like to add that Nakheel’s service fees are among the cheapest in town and there are certain people who recognise this,” he added.

Earlier this year, real estate agents told Arabian Business that some of their tenants are now shunning apartments on Palm Jumeirah developments as a result of the row over unpaid service fees.

“The articles written recently about the problems of service charges or lack of payments to properties on the Palm are, I am sure, having a negative effect,” Mario Volpi, head of residential sales and leasing at Cluttons, said in June.

“When we are offering a wide selection of properties there does now appear to be a reluctance [towards] the Nakheel properties on the palm. The questions from prospective tenants are mainly along the lines of whether the landlord is up to date with his/her maintenance payments,” he added.

Patricia Fernandes, assistant manager of residential sales and leasing at Better Homes, echoed this sentiment and said tenants were now “being extremely cautious” about renewing leases on the Palm.

“It’s been noticed that quite a few tenants who have been renting on the Palm for a while now are extremely frustrated and no longer wish to renew their leases, or are looking to break their lease for the obvious reasons of limited or no access to on-site amenities," she said.

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Posted by: Shadow

I would love to know what is RERA stand on all the property market mess and scams discovered lately.....

Posted by: fred

Nakhell say they are cheap. Residents say they are expensive. Can someone comment on how high the charges actually are.

Posted by: con

there was an article on this a few weeks back. i think they came up with around 10aed/sqft being a profitable charge for this location. if i remember correctly nakheel charge nearly twice that.

Posted by: Phil Gahn

ALmost everyone that I know who owns a Nakheel property is in some kind of distress. When I talk to my business partners abroad they joke about Dubai properties and specifically quote Nakheel as a jewel in the crown of Dubai's terrible so called investor friendly environment. I have read about Nakheel executives in the newspapers and almost every other real estate broker tells me of the glorious days when they use to have arrangements with Nakheel executives on property launches.

Posted by: RaOne

Nakheel will soon start chargin the oxygen you breathe on Palm...cause it is not there in the contract and so belongs to Nakheel.

And also the Road you take to your home in Palm...the owners did not pay for this road, its not in your contract... so may be in future Nakheel will put a toll gate at the Palm entrance...cause the Roads belongs to Nakheel.

Even in so called third world countries there are decent consumer protection laws where Nakheel could have been taken to task for Glossy Marketing Advertisements they published which promised everything (including Freehold visas) without ever mentioning charges for Beaches. Now it is lame they talk about contracts. Even if they are on right side of law, such attitude will only make things worse for them.

Posted by: George

Nakheel's continued arrogance is incredible and unbelievable. As a Nakheel resident of Palm Jumeirah Shoreline Apartments, we are still experiencing:

- Service charges increased substantially each year, not to improve service but to provide profits to Nakheel

- Terrible maintenance by Nalheel. Rotting garbage in some basements of the Palm Shareline Apartments are a health hazard.

- Purchase contracts of Nakheel all show common areas as a shared ownership resource of the residents, and Nakheel arbitrarily takes them away and tries to charge everyone for them, even if they have paid every service charge.

- Palm District Cooling that was supposed to save money by doing it all as a common service, but is actually far more expensive than if each resident installed their own airconditioning.

- An arrogant and time consuming bureacracy from Nahkeel that makes everything difficult to achieve even if you follow every Nakheel directive to residents.

- Many more problems caused by Nakheel

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