Why owners association for Burj Khalifa is a tall ask

High net-worth individuals with apartments or complete floors in world’s tallest tower say they just prefer to pay developer

Owners of apartments in the world’s tallest tower – Burj Khalifa – have a view on owners associations (OA) that seems out of synch with the rest of Dubai.

While property owners across the emirate are pushing hard for control of their projects from developers, through the formation of owners’ association, high net-worth individuals, who own apartments or complete floors in Burj Khalifa, seem least concerned about taking on the responsibility of managing the tallest tower in the world.

Owners admit that Emaar Properties, the developer of the tallest tower in the world, hasn’t yet updated them on the OA details and they hardly have time to contend with issues like service charge fees or delays in formation of OAs.

Under Article 17 of Law No 27 of 2007, concerning ownership of Jointly Owned Properties in the Emirate of Dubai, an owners association shall be legally formed upon the registration of the first sale of a unit in a jointly owned property in the register.

An Indian billionaire, who stays for three days a year in his Dh15 million Burj Khalifa apartment, told Emirates 247: “I am clueless (on owners association)… My staff in Dubai just pays the service charge regardless of it being amongst the costliest in the world.”

A local businessman, who owns several apartments in the tallest tower, said: “I do look at notices or letters sent to us by Emaar.

“I haven’t got any update on the owners association, or the annual general meeting.

“I am satisfied with the service at the tower and the charges, I believe, are decent enough.”

Emaar did not hike service charges for 2012.

Apartment owners currently shell out Dh55.01 per square foot. In 2011 and 2010, the charges were Dh55 per sqft and Dh52.77 per sqft, respectively.

Charges for Armani Residences continue to remain the highest.

They are set at Dh83.12 per sqft.

In 2011 and 2010, the charges were Dh83.71 per sqft and Dh78.63 per sqft, respectively.

Property agents say high net worth individuals rarely ask about service charges in Burj Khalifa and just want to own a property there as a sign of affluence and prestige.

However, agents say people renting seem to be bothered about lack of playing area for kids, full-fledged gym and swimming pool.

“The swimming pools and gyms in the tower are small. People want a large pool and proper gym. They do ask about when Emaar will be opening the health and recreation club in the precincts of the tower,”  an agent said.

Emaar did not answer questions on when it will open the four-storey (100,000 sqft) health and recreation club, which has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a gym and crèche area.

Emaar also did not clarify what the membership fee will be and whether it will be free for residents of Burj Khalifa.

The club, however, is not part of the Burj Khalifa tower.

Asking rates for apartments have increased by nine to 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to fourth quarter 2011.

“Prices have increased in the first quarter of this year, as compared to the fourth quarter last year,” said Parvees Gafur, Chief Executive Officer, PropSquare Real Estate, a Dubai-based real estate consultancy.

Depending on the views whether they are Lake and Fountain views or Sea and Sheikh Zayed Road, the asking prices are between Dh2,850 and Dh3,600 per square feet compared to between Dh2,600 and Dh3,200 per square feet last quarter.

The 2,717-feet high tower has 900 apartments, while the Armani Residences has 144 fully furnished private apartments.

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