Billed

I was overjoyed to receive an invoice today from my property developer.
It’s for the year of 2008. It has to be paid in two installments, both falling in September.
When we moved in we were given a verbal promise we’d pay 8Dhs per square foot. We didn’t believe that figure and budgeted for twice that – 16Dhs per square foot. When we moved in, we were made to pay 26.8Dhs per square foot, which I thought was outrageous.
Today’s invoice? 35Dhs per square foot, about 35% more. This comes to around 42,000Dhs per year. Add the 10,000Dhs I have to pay per year in municipality tax (even though I don’t live in an area maintained by the municipality) and I’m paying 52,000Dhs, plus electricity bills. Last year, in my albeit smaller apartment, my total rent was only around 56,000Dhs, including bills.
As you can imagine, I’m not pleased.
I fully accept we have to pay a service charge, but I expect that service charge to be invoiced in a timely fashion so that I can budget for it and I expect it to be fair.
All around the development I see lights left on and cold air blowing out of cracks in door or doors that don’t shut properly. I see badly planted palm trees dying left right and centre. I see roads laid down and then dug up again. We take care to minimise the AC we use. So why should I pay a flat fee for the ‘chiller’? Why should I foot the bill for wasted electricity? Why should I fit the bill for bad planning?
Dubai has been hit by inflation like everyone else, but 35% inflation?
Let’s see how this one ends.

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2 Responses to “Billed”

  1. Duffy Says:

    Well, if I’m doing the math correctly, you’re looking at ~$953 USD per month for a flat that’s ~1200 sq ft yes? I can tell you in major cities in the US (like NYC) you’d be paying significantly more than that w/o utilities. Even the effective rate of $1271 is closer to what you’d pay in rent alone. Combine that with the hideous income and sales taxes here and you’d be really unhappy. YMMV. Just my $.02

  2. nzm Says:

    Duffy: I believe that the figures that Chris has quoted are only for service charges (rates) and do not include rent (as the Sauls have purchased their apartment) or electricity.
    Correct me if I’m mistaken, Chris.
    8 Dhs to 35 Dhs is a criminal, over 150%, hike in price, and has to be paid as a lump sum, not spread over 12 months. Plus, if you don’t pay by the due date, they just turn off your air and water – no warning notices in the land of sand.

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