3% expat housing fee in Abu Dhabi backdated to March 2016

5-bed villa tenants in Saadiyat Island will see $6,948 pa in housing fees
3% expat housing fee in Abu Dhabi backdated to March 2016
The housing fee for 2017 will be split into monthly instalments, beginning January, and will be included in monthly utility bills
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Thu 05 Jan 2017 09:40 AM

The expat housing fee in Abu Dhabi will be backdated to when the decree was issued and has to be paid in a single payment, an Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM) official confirmed to Arabian Business.

Abu Dhabi Executive Council issued the decree on the housing fee (three percent of the annual rent) in February 2016, which came into effect on February 25, 2016. It sets the minimum annual fee at $123 (AED450),  

While the fee for 2016 is expected to be paid in one lump sum, the 2017 fee will be split into monthly instalments, beginning January, and will be included in monthly utility bills, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

“There were delays as we had to work with a lot of entities to implement the system,” he added.

UAE nationals are exempted from this fee.

The official could not confirm on whether residents will be given any flexible payment option for the backdated fees, hinting they could possibly approach the municipality with such a request.

David Bowman, senior associate, Real Estate, Al Tamimi & Company told Arabian Business that the resolution came into effect from February 25,2016 and so allows the government to charge the fee from that date.

“We understand that in practice ADM has asked Abu Dhabi Distribution Company to collect the fee from March 1, 2016, up until 31 December,” he said.

Based on Asteco’s rental index for third quarter 2016, the minimum to maximum annual housing fee will range from $245 (AED900) to $2,861 (AED10,500) for apartments and $654 (AED2400) to $6,948 (AED25,500) for villas.

Dubai Municipality also imposes a five percent housing fee, which is calculated on the annual rent and paid in 12 instalments as part of their monthly Dewa bills. It is mandatory for tenants and home owner-occupiers to pay the fee.

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