Sunday, April 16, 2006

Housing fee

Last week, newspapers announced the everyone in Dubai will have to pay a 5% housing fee on tenancy contracts. This fee has been collected since January of last year, however not everyone pays it yet, because not everyone gets charged for it.

This fee is usually charged on the DEWA bill, and some tenants do get charged, but a lot of others don't. In my office, we usually all get our DEWA bills at the same time, and we usually all compare our bills. A lot of my colleagues (some are even my neighbours) are not charged this municipality fee for some reason, whereas I get charged every single month.

It's really unfair because it really makes a huge difference on my bill total! My electricity and water charges usually come up to around 70 dhs only every month, but then my municipality fee adds another 265 dhs to the bill! And this is about to go up next month with my increase in rent.

If I am paying this stupid fee then everyone else should pay it as well. That's why I think it is high time Dubai Municipality ensures everyone gets treated equally. Either make sure everyone pays this fee, or simply abolish it. I vote for abolishing it. Isn't the UAE supposed to be a tax-free haven? Well, this is a tax disguised as a "municipality fee". How come it's only Dubai residents that have to pay this? Why are other Emirates exempted?


Seabee said...

Tax free? It's a myth. The only thing tax free is salary, everything else has a charge on it, not called 'tax' but that's what it is.

Jin said...

What a great blog you've got going! Thanks for stopping by mine & I shall put yours on my links list as soon as I can think straight (just got back from an abortive viewing of a villa with an agent, that never pitched & never bothered to phone me)

Dubai Sunshine said...

Jin, welcome to my blog. Hope the house-hunting goes well :)

Seabee, you're right. Nothing is really tax-free here. We just don't fill out a tax form every year like they do in Europe and the US, but we still end up paying taxes in disguise.

chazoo said...

Ah taxes... Federal, provincial, sales taxes, taxes on good and services, importing taxes, exporting taxes... don't you just love taxes, disguised or not! HA!

Well, I just went on a tax rant.

Sometimes though, I'm just happy to live in a somewhat socialist country where I pay to many taxes but get something in return for "free", like healthcare and education. I say that because I saw a show on the USA about people working full time, living below the poverty line with no health benefits and most of the times with kids. That's when I LOVE CANADA and its ill managed but existant health system, almost free education, etc.

Anonymous said...

I am sponsored by my husband and work for a company on Sheikh Zayed Road. To renew their trade license the company has deducted a municipality tax from all expats without contractual agreement. So now you tell me - we pay the tax on our residence DEWA and I have to pay the tax to my company without question - Does anyone know if this is legal?