x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Nakheel refills pools after collecting some service fees

Maintenance providers paid, but some residents at a luxury Palm Jumeirah development fear the dispute is not over yet.

Nakheel refills pools after collecting some service fees owed by maintenance providers.
Nakheel refills pools after collecting some service fees owed by maintenance providers.

DUBAI // Nakheel has begun refilling swimming pools at a luxury Palm Jumeirah development, saying it had collected some of the Dh15 million in service fees owed by owners.

The developer also began releasing funds to pay service providers, 12 days after draining the pools because of non-payment of the fees.

Services such as the pools and district cooling at the Marina Residence towers will now operate normally, the developer said.

Residents confirmed yesterday that one of the six pools, which had been drained this month, was being filled up but some expressed doubt that the dispute was over.

“We have released funds to allow common area facilities, such as cooling and pools, to continue,” a Nakheel spokeswoman said.

“The pool contractor is now back onsite and facilities will be back to normal as soon as possible.”

Nakheel did not say how much it had collected. But it said it would work with the owners association to collect the millions of dirhams still unpaid and address the issue of defaulters.

“I’m surprised they are filling the pools so quickly, that’s good news,” said Ann, a marketing executive and resident who preferred not to give her full name.

“But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Nakheel’s actions. It’s constantly upsetting; we don’t know what they’re going to do next”

On Tuesday, the developer said it had no option but to drain the pools as it would not be able to pay maintenance companies until service fees were received.

Some residents say they have not received notice from Nakheel about outstanding bills, while others say they have been paid.

More than 100 owners at Marina Residence have signed petitions urging the Real Estate Regulatory Agency to register their Owners Association, remove Nakheel as manager and find a replacement.

Some said they had paid between Dh20,000 and Dh35,000 in annual service charges for two to three-bedroom apartments, but had not been given a list of the fees, the financial statement for last year or details of contracts with service providers.

“This was sold as Nakheel’s flagship project but now they cut off services?” asked an owner who did not wish to be identified. “We don’t even know what we are paying for. They are not being transparent and we need clarity.”

Residents acknowledged some owners had not paid their service fees, but they added that many had not received notices from Nakheel.

Others said there was a surplus of more than Dh6m in fees collected in 2010 but the developer had not specified whether this had been used.

Residents also said they were charged Dh2m in annual management fees when other companies charged less than half that amount.

Nakheel did not respond to those statements.

Ann moved to Marina Residence in March from Shoreline Apartments, which is also managed by Nakheel.

Residents of Shoreline, in the same development as Marina Residence, were barred from access to the beach and other facilities last December over disputed fees.

rtalwar@thenational.ae