Residents of Nakheel’s luxury Shoreline development made a formal complaint against the developer after it locked the back doors of buildings as the row over beach club access escalated.
The Dubai-based developer, currently locked in a bitter dispute with residents over beach club access, locked the back doors to ten apartment buildings that open onto the pool and beach on Dec 15 as it moved to ban access to residents with outstanding service fees.
Residents claimed the move was not only illegal but also posed a health and safety hazard.
“They have locked buildings to doors they don’t own and the problem we have with that is two-fold. Firstly, it’s a health and safety issue; the front doors are electric and if there is a fault or a fire with the electrics those doors will stay shut and [secondly] it's common property,” one resident told Arabian Business.
Nakheel declined to comment when contacted by Arabian Business.
Several residents filed complaints with the police, he added.
“Residents called the police to get them unlocked and they said individuals had to take this up and file a complaint, which some did. We just need to supply the police with proof of ownership, which sits with the strata law and says this is what common property is,” he said.
Nakheel in December distributed leaflets to the Palm Jumeirah residents warning it planned to charge residents up to AED5,000 ($1,360) to access the beach, pools and gyms.
In the interim, the developer has banned residents with outstanding service fees from using the beach, pools and gyms by rolling out a temporary security card system.
Last month, Nakheel said the lockout would be extended to Shoreline’s main buildings and car parks from Jan 15 - effectively barring residents from accessing their homes - but homeowners said the deadline had passed without incident.
The company has said the lockout is in response to the high number of homeowners defaulting on service charges. Homeowners on Shoreline have AED57m outstanding in service fees, down from AED72m at the start of Dec, Nakheel said on Jan 3.
The news comes days after Nakheel unveiled details of a retail and residential project on Palm Jumeirah, its first real estate project since the collapse of Dubai’s property market in late-2008.
The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah will include shops, computer-controlled fountains, a marina and a public walk on the tip of the palm-shaped island, Nakheel said.
The developer is in talks with banks to raise at least AED300m ($82m) for the project, which will be operated by the company when it’s completed.