Real estate development firm Nakheel has renewed its claims to exclusive ownership of the beach at Palm Jumeirah, UAE weekly XPRESS reported on Thrusday. Owners and residents of Shoreline Apartments on the island have been in dispute with Nakheel over beach access from December 2011, when they were asked to keep off the beach until they paid a service charge. “The beach belongs to Nakheel, it’s our beach. We will go as per the contract we sign. I don’t want to elaborate more. Whatever is there in the contract, we will respect it. It is not what people think they are entitled to,” Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Ahmad Lootah was quoted as saying. Lootah also urged residents to pay service charges. “There’s no excuse for not paying. All our fees are approved by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) and audited by auditors.” Residents of Marina Residences, also built by Nakheel, have been embroiled in a tiff with the developer over the issue of unpaid service charges. Nakheel reacted by draining all the six swimming pools in the building and leaving it empty for weeks. “We have issued clear statements on this. People are not paying service charges. How can we arrange the necessary facilities? If nobody is attending the swimming pools, do I leave it unattended? What is the safest way to deal with it?” Lootah asked. “All our service charges are regulated by auditors. Having said that, people have become more co- operative now and have started to pay their dues. But, there are others who do not want to pay as they do not reside in the UAE. I ask people to encourage their neighbours to pay their service fees,” Lootah added.