Monday, June 7, 2010

Unified collection of utility bills in Dubai

The Gulf Today, 6 June 2010

Collection of housing fees in Dubai at five per cent of the rent value has been added to the billing procedures of Dubai Electricity and Water (DEWA), as the Municipality on Sunday launched the second phase of its project for an integrated e-application system.
Dubai Municipality (DM) has introduced the electronic system to collect the different utility charges all together, aimed at guaranteeing quality of work and comprehensive coverage of all tenants throughout the emirate, according to a senior DM official.
Arif Ahli, Director of Finance Department at the DM, said, the centralised collection under the unified e-system throughout the emirate will prevent manipulation of the utility bills. The DM will coordinate with DEWA for collection of the housing fees through its monthly billing system.
"Notices will be sent to the tenants to pay the fees within the DEWA bills, as this final phase of the project is aimed at applying the system to all tenants and landlords concerned,” he added.
“Implementation of the system will be done by making the public fill up special forms designed for this purpose that are available on the DM web portal,” said Ahli.
He pointed out, “If anybody fails to register, the tenant will be sent a final notice asking to provide required data during the month, and in case of failure to respond, the tenant will be charged housing fees as per the rental index issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).”
“The Municipality or DEWA shall not bear any responsibility for this towards the customer or others," he warned.
According to Ahli, the new system has been developed during the project’s second phase in the light of the observations on the application of the system in its first phase.
"The first phase of the project had begun in 2005, when the housing fee was collected through the newly registered rent contracts with the DEWA. The Municipality has started taking the final steps to apply the system under the plan for the second phase of the project and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2010,” he explained.
”The housing fees have been collected since 1962 on the basis of a law on Dubai Municipality revenue and linking it with the DEWA in a strategic partnership between the two government bodies,” he added.

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