The expat community loves to call Dubai their home. Hence, they look forward to renting and buying a property in the emirate. Besides the obvious costs, all expat residents should be familiar with the additional charges associated with the city’s housing, such as the Dubai Municipality housing fee.
Those unaware of this additional charge often ask ‘what is the Dubai Municipality housing fee that keeps appearing on my monthly DEWA bill?’ Well, we’re here to finally answer that much-asked question. Read on for all the details on this fee that applies to residents living in Dubai.
WHAT IS THE HOUSING FEE IN DUBAI?
The housing fee in Dubai is an additional, annual charge for expatriates living in their dream accommodation in the emirate. The Dubai Municipality charges a housing fee for its services, which is to be paid along with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) monthly bill.
The Dubai Municipality housing fee for tenants and homeowners is set at 5% of the property’s annual rent and is paid in monthly instalments. For example, if you are renting one of the DAMAC Hills apartments for an annual cost of AED 50k per annum, the municipality fee for the year would be AED 2,500. This is then split into 12 equal instalments, paid as part of the DEWA bill.
The fee is charged for providing civil services like cleaning, pollution reduction, food safety, opening and upkeep of recreational facilities, waste management services and burial ground. So irrespective of whether you are living in a budget-friendly townhouse for rent in Dubai or renting one of the swanky Palm Jumeirah apartments, you will still have to pay these municipality charges.
WHO HAS TO PAY DUBAI MUNICIPALITY HOUSING FEE?
The Dubai housing fee applies to expatriates who own or rent a property in the city. UAE nationals are exempted from paying the Dubai Municipality housing fee.
If the property has been rented out, the tenant is responsible for paying the housing fee. Otherwise, the homeowner is responsible for making the housing fee payment.
HOW IS DUBAI HOUSING FEE CALCULATED?
For tenants, the housing fee in Dubai is set at 5% of the annual rent mentioned in the Ejari tenancy contract.
For homeowners, the Dubai Municipality housing fee calculation is done through the average rental value of their property, as determined by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). Homeowners can use the RERA rent calculator to determine the average rent for their apartment or villa. They will then need to pay 5% of this amount as the housing fee in Dubai.
HOW DO YOU PAY THE HOUSING FEE IN DUBAI?
The annual housing fee will be part of your monthly DEWA utility bill. It’s usually broken down into 12 instalments, which you pay throughout the year.
You need not manually add these charges as the housing fee is automatically added to your utility bill system when you set up the DEWA connection for your home. Thus, when paying your DEWA bill, you will see that the charges are broken down into water, electricity, sewerage and the Dubai Municipality housing fee.
HOW CAN YOU AMEND DUBAI HOUSING FEE?
If your landlord has reduced or increased your rent, or the average rental value of your property has changed, your housing fee will also change accordingly.
In such cases, you will need to update your residential details with the Dubai Municipality, so that your DEWA bills reflect the correct fee.
Take a look at the steps below for Dubai Municipality housing fee adjustment:
- Visit the Dubai Municipality’s official website and navigate to ‘Services’.
- Under Individual Services, select Dubai Municipality Fees and then ‘Apply to Amend Dubai Municipality Residential Fee’.
- Fill out the necessary details and attached the required documents (for tenants, new Ejari and last DEWA bill).
- You will receive an electronic receipt. There is no need to print out this receipt, a soft copy is acceptable in case it is required at a later stage.
- Your new residential details will be updated in the Dubai Municipality system within three working days.
- If you have been charged extra for the housing fee, the amount will be refunded to you as DEWA credit.
This online service is offered thanks to the Dubai Paperless Strategy. This initiative was launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. The governmental operations have been digitalised to save paper and encourage paperless transactions.
So, if your rent has changed recently, you know what to do. The process is straightforward and self-explanatory.
WHERE CAN YOU GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FEES?
If you require more information about the Dubai Municipality housing fees for expatriates, you can contact the relevant authority on 800-900. You can also contact them if you have any Dubai Municipality housing fee-related complaints.
Here’s some commonly asked questions regarding the housing fee by Dubai Municipality:
IS THE HOUSING FEE CHARGED ONLY WHEN YOU MOVE TO A NEW PLACE?
No, the Dubai housing fee is an annual charge for expatriates living in the emirate. Whether you have recently moved into a new villa or stayed in the same apartment for several years, you will be charged a housing fee by the Dubai Municipality.
HOW OFTEN WILL I BE CHARGED THE HOUSING FEE?
You will be charged 5% of your property’s rental value each year as a housing fee. However, you are not required to pay the entire amount upfront. Instead, the fee will be divided into 12 instalments that you will pay along with your monthly DEWA bill.
That concludes our guide to the housing fee for expatriates in Dubai. You can also take a look at our guide to the DEWA smart app, through which you can easily pay your monthly bills.
If you want to move to a new apartment or villa, you will also need to transfer your DEWA account to your new house. It’s also important to disconnect your DEWA connection in your old home to avoid problems later.