resiDenTial_ CommuNity life 15
Deepthi Nair, Sub editor
Is it worth it? We provide a platform for agents and residents to
size up some prominent communities in Dubai in
terms of service charges and facilities offered.
Discovery GarDens The Greens (emaar) vicTory heiGhTs
(Nakheel) (Dubai SportS City)
Agent Mohammad Muneeb khan, Better Homes Joanna Cook, Ocean View Real estate Marc shiel, Ocean View Real estate
service Dh19 per square foot, inclusive of district cooling. Dh19 per square foot. Currently, no services fees have been asked for.
charges This will change once the facilities are handed
over and they are estimated at Dh5.5 on the built-
Facilities Access to the Mediterranean clusters is difficult All facilities have been delivered and comprise There are parks, jogging tracks and barbecue
yet to be because after the first traffic signal, there is only swimming pools, gym, barbecue areas, basketball areas. A pool, gym and basketball courts are to be
delivered one roundabout located where these clusters courts and children’s play areas. delivered soon.
end, causing huge traffic jams. The development
also lacks adequate security and facilities such as
gyms and swimming pools.
Investor Primarily buy-to-let investors; however, this will The Greens is a well-established community Upon launch, there was everyone from overseas
profile change in the future because more expat tenants and attracts families and young professionals. investors to end-users. Now, there are more
are considering DG as a reasonable investment The Greens is also an ideal and popular location owner-occupiers while the remaining are renters.
thanks to its competitive prices, proximity to the for buy-to-let investors as apartments are occupied
beach and Ibn Battuta Mall. In addition, there are very quickly.
a growing number of Discovery Gardens tenants
who work in Abu Dhabi and still want to live in
Dubai — DG gives them an affordable option.
ResIdent praveen Mehta, board member Victor sopovski, owner-occupier Lindsey Russel, owner-occupier
speAk An apartment community like Discovery Gardens The service fees are quite reasonable, however, There are no service charges since the first
should have service charges only in the range of the response mechanism to complaints is quite villa was handed over in March 2009. Payment
Dh10-12 per square foot. The swimming pool has tardy. Also, owing to several overseas investors for the upkeep of the master community has
been a big disappointment, yet it is being billed turning into service fee defaulters, local residents been done by Dubai Sports City and Victory
to us. Also, Nakheel seems to have handed over in The Greens are suffering since street lights Heights so far. Facilities yet to be delivered are
certain tennis courts in Discovery Gardens to a are not being maintained and this results in two community pools that are currently under
tennis academy and hence they are always out of pitch dark walkways. Despite Emaar framing construction and the Golf Clubhouse. Completion
bounds for owners like me. The board members strict rules for garbage disposal by owners of of the roundabouts under construction on
of the interim owners’ association (OA) have pets, these are being flouted and mars the levels Emirates Road will also make access more
submitted our documents to Nakheel, who, in of hygiene in children’s play areas. Though the appealing. Garbage bins are emptied often,
turn, has not conveyed its progress on submitting Dubai Police fine wrongly parked cars in The traffic is co-ordinated well when there are cricket
documentation to the Real Estate Regulatory Greens, they seem to be turning a blind eye to tournaments. There are no traffic snarls inside the
Agency. However, once OAs get a legal standing, the reckless taxi drivers who are wreaking havoc community as there are only approximately 700
I don’t believe it’s a good approach to stop using in an otherwise peaceful community. villas. The landscaping is very well-looked after.
the services of Nakheel Asset Management Security is OK but could be better; a surrounding
immediately. Until we zero down on a strong fence is yet to be put in place. This should be done
alternative, we need to work with the existing at the end of March. There are currently three
company and remove inefficiencies and high exits at Victory Heights. Dubai Sports City Facility
management fees. Management looks after the community.
16 resiDenTial _ CommuNity life resiDenTial 17
Dubai marina Jumeirah beach resiDence Jumeirah islanDs arabian ranches Palm Jumeirah Jumeirah lakes Towers
(emaar) (Dubai propertieS Group) (Nakheel) (emaar) (Nakheel) (Dubai multi CommoDitieS CeNtre)
Agent Benjamin thomas, Fine & Country Benjamin thomas, Fine & Country Joyce Jomon-elion, Fine & Country Agent natalie grigorchuk, Fine & Country Rita Mouawad, Better Homes Leah James, Better Homes
service They vary depending on the building — the lowest Dh15.32 per square foot, inclusive of master Dh3.5 per square foot for all villas or Dh18,324 service Dh14-16 per square foot based on plot. This is an The average is Dh18-25 per square foot per annum. Dh11,000 to Dh15,000 per year (depending on the
charges is Dh9 per square foot; the average is Dh14 per community charges, excluding chiller charges. per annum (for maintenance, security, cleaning of charges all-inclusive fee. Arabian Ranches does not have Golden Mile — Dh18 per square foot, Shoreline tower). The service fees tend to be inclusive of the
square foot. Some buildings have chilling included lakes, landscaping, etc). district cooling. — Dh20 per square foot, and Marina Residences master community charges and include district
in the service charges, some do not. All Emaar — Dh25 per square foot. As of January, Rera (Real cooling charges; the tenants have to pay for this,
buildings have chilling fee included. Estate Regulatory Agency) has set the new service and if the unit is vacant then the owner continues
fees for the Palm at Dh10.8 per square foot. to pay.
Facilities Completion/extension of the Marina Walk still The community health and beach clubs were The clubhouse is open now. The restaurant Facilities All facilities have been delivered. In fact, it is one Many projects on the Palm are still under The community is still growing and developing.
yet to be needs to be completed. As a result, several retail promised on launch. There are rumours going and pool area have opened first and the gym yet to be of the most well-developed communities with construction — particularly on The Crescent. So, Some buildings like X1 and X2 have been waiting
delivered spaces and restaurants which were advertised around that they will be built soon, but that’s been and lounge bar within the clubhouse will open delivered excellent infrastructure and facilities. not all facilities have been completed yet. The town for the post-completion handover for almost a
still awaiting their opening. said for the past three years. later. There is no formal entrance to Jumeirah centre and marina yacht club have been cancelled. year because the master developer has yet to
Islands with good access control. There are two construct the podium.
unfinished developments within Jumeirah Islands
— Jumeirah Heights and the JI Mansions. There Investor Owner-occupiers and buy-to-let investors. Apartment owners are primarily overseas They are overseas investors and buy-to-let
have been many disappointed JI residents who profile investors; the majority of villa owners are end- investors. In JLT, there isn’t a significant amount
feel that five years on, they still have not been users; the remainder is buyers choosing to rent. of owner-occupiers.
delivered the community they were promised.
Investor The majority are buy-to-let investors, then Overseas investors and buy-to-let investors. The majority are owner-occupiers with
profile overseas investors, then owner-occupiers. a keen interest in their own property and the
ResIdent sid, investor sylvia Christensen, investor Mustafa, Iranian investor ResIdent Laura Watts, homeowner Ludmila Yamalova, board chairman Mohammad nafees
speAk Facilities in Dubai Marina are comparable to The problem with service charges at JBR is that The service charges are reasonable since the speAk Considering the service charges in other tiara Residence The average service charge being levied by
international standards. The service fees might there was a substantial increase after the first year cost of maintaining the landscaping and lakes communities managed by Nakheel and Union Although the service fee set by the developer is developers is between Dh10-Dh18 per square
rise after April once owners’ associations get a to more than double the amount (Dh21.75 per in the master community is quite expensive. Properties, I believe the service fees in the Dh21.95 per square foot, Rera has approved only foot. It includes master community charges
legal status. Most towers have reached the end square foot). They did provide a breakdown of how Only the clubhouse and the formal entrance to Ranches are very reasonable and Emaar Dh19. We need to have a clearly defined JOPD and chiller charges for the common areas. For
of the three-year developer guarantee period the money would be used — almost half (Dh9.40 Jumeirah Islands have been delayed. Though Community Management is doing a good job (Jointly Owned Property Declaration) to know individual units, there are separate meters,
and will need considerable investment in terms per square foot) was to be for utilities — Empower water in the lakes were earlier filled with algae, at it. However, the service fee has doubled over which agency is responsible for what works on the and each unit holder has to pay his own bill.
of addressing the wear and tear of equipment. and Dewa. However, the fee still seemed excessive. fumigation is carried out quite frequently now the past few years. When we are invoiced on the Palm. We have very few convenience stores on the Most developers have set up their affiliated
A few developers in Dubai Marina have not The question comes up as to how they could have and birds and fish are thriving. We don’t face a service fees, we are not given a breakdown of Palm and the Monorail is also quite useless as it maintenance companies and have given
delivered the squash courts and swimming so drastically miscalculated the maintenance costs swarm of mosquitoes too these days. However, costs. However, the maintenance and security takes us to nowhere in particular. There are also maintenance contracts to them at a higher rate.
images: aNm archives/kishore kumar, Silvia baron & Grace paras
pools that were promised during the project from 2007 to 2009. We are hoping that with the there is no proper supervision of the construction staff are well-trained and I’ve never seen any no proper access roads on the Palm for residents’ Now since business activity is low, these contracts
launch. By and large, most Emaar buildings involvement of the owners’ associations, there will work in Jumeirah Heights and this poses a long- gardens or roads left unmaintained. We have all convenience. We also have no community hubs on can be renegotiated at a lower rate to bring down
in the Marina are top quality and are well- be an assessment and that this will bring about a term inconvenience to residents like me. We facilities possible — a clinic, a community centre the Palm, in terms of parks and sidewalks where the service charges. The master community is
maintained. However, a few towers are manned fair maintenance fee. The original residence map are always forced to take a detour of the entire with shops, a golf club, mosques and a school. families can take a stroll. Even the retail and office still under development. Lakes are being filled
by unprofessional building managers and have, given at the time of handover showed planned community owing to the barricades put up near But, it would have helped residents if the spa, gym facilities promised on the Golden Mile are yet to be and landscaping is being done. Roads are being
therefore, lagged behind in quality. fitness clubs — one in each sector for Shams, the construction site. and equestrian centre were located within the delivered in full. Most residents aren’t happy with made. The road network is particularly poor, with
Amwaj, Rimal, Bahar, Murjan and two in Sadaf Ranches and not across the road. the service fees since the quality of facilities don’t only one exit which is very crowded in the evening.
— and four beach clubs. The key cards that were seem to correspond. Further, one has to take a full circle of JLT to move
given were also to permit entrance to the fitness Fred Watts, board member, interim OA from one point to another within the community.
clubs for residents. Nothing was said about a fee In return for the service fee we pay, we have a Developers are delaying registering the OA and
for use at time of purchase. On handover, we were clubhouse which houses the Arabian Ranches are blaming the Rera instead. I am also a member
told that the fitness clubs were yet to be finished. Golf Club, a shopping centre, the Jumeirah English of one of the Emaar community associations, as
The fitness clubs and beach park were all part of Speaking School, a fully equipped medical centre per which it will take about one year to get the
promoting and selling JBR as a desirable lifestyle and a mosque. Once the OAs have been registered, registration done due to stringent requirements
community. The response system in place is good. it will be difficult to find an alternative to Emaar by Rera. Rera should, instead, make it easy and
All complaint calls are logged with a reference Community Management and match what they straightforward to register an association while
number. The response time is, however, sometimes have done in terms of outsourcing service contracts. other requirements of filing drawings and plans
lengthy — days and weeks — due to limited staff. However, we will undertake a due diligence exercise can be done later.
to remove any slackness in the system. firstname.lastname@example.org