The expat housing fee in Abu Dhabi will be backdated to when the decree was issued and has to be paid in a single payment, an Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM) official confirmed to Arabian Business.
Abu Dhabi Executive Council issued the decree on the housing fee in February 2016. It sets the minimum annual fee at $123 (AED450). UAE nationals are exempt from this fee.
There are no official indications whether expat residents will be given any flexible payment option for the backdated fees.
David Bowman, senior associate, Real Estate, Al Tamimi & Company told Arabian Business that the resolution came into effect from February 2016 and so allows the government to charge the fee from that date.
“We understand that in practice ADM has asked Abu Dhabi Distribution Company to collect the fee from 1 March 2016 until 31 December,” he said.
Based on property company Asteco’s rental index for third quarter 2016, the annual housing fee will range from $245 (AED900) to $2,861 (AED10,500) for apartments and $654 (AED2400) to $6,948 (AED25,500) for villas.
Dubai Municipality also imposes a 5 per cent housing fee, which is calculated on the annual rent and paid in 12 instalments as part of monthly Dewa (Dubai Electricity & Water Authority) bills. It is mandatory for tenants and home owner-occupiers to pay the fee, reports Arabian Business.