World's tallest residential tower in Dubai levies lowest service charges

An exterior view of the world tallest residential bulding, Princess Tower in Dubai. Photo by Ashok Verma

Service charges in the Princess Towers, the world’s tallest residential tower, has been fixed at Dh10 per square feet, while owners in Elite Residence, the third tallest tower in the world, will have to pay Dh11 per square feet for the first year.

The 2012 service charges for Horizon Tower has been approved at Dh16.59 per square feet, while in the Torch, the fourth tallest residential tower, proposed charges, as per the May newsletter, stood at Dh16.5 per square feet.

All the above towers are located in Dubai Marina. In Jumeirah Beach Residence, however, owners have to shell out Dh15.32 per square feet, while residential apartment owners in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, pay Dh55.01 per sq ft.

Occupying a land area of 37,410 sq ft, the tower comprises of six basement levels, a ground floor and a further 100 storeys. Princess Tower offers 763 units, including 1, 2, 3 bedrooms and penthouses and is supported by 957 parking bays and eight shops.

But, will Princess Tower set a benchmark for lower service charges for hi-rises?

According to the developer, the charges are lower because they can be split over a larger area. However, these charges do not include chiller costs, as all apartment have individual metres and owners will have pay as per the usage.

Asked if the charges will remain the same or rise over the years in Princess Tower, Jan Heumueller, Asset Manager, Tameer, says: “Will it move up is not in our hands, it is up to the people who are living in it. They will decide the level of service they want in their building.”

Experts believe that a number of developers have are not genuinely trying to hand over building management to the homeowners' association because of the financial gains associated with it.

Graham Yeates, Head of Owners' Association Management, Cluttons, had told this website earlier: “I don't think there is a genuine attempt being made to hand over to the owners. As other revenue streams dry up, developers see the opportunity of making a profit from service charges/interim owners association so there is little incentive to register owners association as required by regulations.”

Tameer is among the very few companies who do not wish to manage their towers.

“What we are trying to do is to disconnect ourselves from our towers and create trust between OA manager and owners,” Heumueller said while Federico Tauber, company president, puts it simply: “We are pure developers and not asset managers.”

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