Dubai Service Charge Index for 2020

Written by Arpan Ghosh

When you buy property in Dubai, there are several costs you need to consider. There is the deposit you put down on the property, the value and due date of payment installments (when applicable), agency fees and other miscellaneous fees that a trusted real estate agent would be able to advise you on. One charge that you should definitely be aware of is the service charge on the property.

What is a service charge?

Put simply, the service charge on a property is the cost of maintaining it. Service charges are paid annually, and cover everything from general maintenance and cleaning to repair work, and possibly even chiller fees. Additionally, owners are expected to contribute to a ‘sinking fund’, which helps in counteracting ups and downs in service fees, ensuring consistency in service charges from year to year. The sinking fund is typically used for major repairs, such as weather-related damage, chiller maintenance (for the communities that have them) and anything else that would go beyond the scope of general upkeep.

Service charges are calculated on a per square foot basis, and for villas the charge is based on the plot area. Jumeirah Golf Estates is the sole exception to this, with service charges being based on the built-up area of the villa. For apartments, the service charge varies between developments, as some may factor the balcony or terrace into the total amount.

Below, we have compiled the average annual service charges you can expect to pay in some of Dubai’s most sought-after residential communities.

Al Barari

You will be paying a flat rate of AED 6.9 per sq ft for all of the villa developments in Al Barari, including The Residences, The Reserve and The Nest. Apartment charges are significantly higher, with Seventh Heaven commanding a service charge of AED 17 per sq ft.

Arabian Ranches

For Arabian Ranches 1 and 2, there are minor variations in service charge depending on which neighbourhood you’re living in. On average, however, you can expect to pay AED 3.08 per sq ft in Arabian Ranches 1 and approximately AED 2.44 per sq ft in Arabian Ranches 2.

Damac Hills 

There is a dramatic variation in service charges across the Damac Hills community based on which project you choose. A few key projects are listed below, in ascending order of charges.

Golf Terrace - AED 4.17 per sq ft

Loreto - AED 10.63 per sq ft

Golf Vista - AED 17.74 per sq ft

Golf Veduta - AED 19.53 per sq ft

DIFC

Service charges at DIFC average out at AED 19.15 per sq ft, with the least expensive project being Skygardens at AED 16.55 per sq ft and Ritz Carlton the priciest at AED 26.13 per sq ft.

District One

The service charge for the villas and mansions at District One is AED 7.3 per sq ft, while the charge for the apartments at District One Residences is AED 20 per sq ft.

Downtown Dubai

As one of Dubai’s most prime districts, Downtown is known to have the highest service charges. On average, the charge across the district amounts to AED 21 per sq ft, but that isn’t a particularly helpful metric as the actual charge can be more than three times that amount depending on which tower you’re in.

Below are some of the most prominent projects in Downtown Dubai and their associated charges. Not surprisingly, the Burj Khalifa tops the list.

Burj Vista - AED 21 per sq ft

The 118 - AED 23.7 per sq ft

Vida Residences Downtown - AED 39 per sq ft

The Address Fountain Views - AED 55 per sq ft

The Address Downtown - AED 60 per sq ft

The Address BLVD - AED 65 per sq ft

Burj Khalifa - AED 67.88 per sq ft

Dubai Hills Estate

The villas at Dubai Hills Estate have an average service charge of AED 3 per sq ft, going as high as AED 4 per sq ft for some of the larger homes. Apartments have an average service charge of AED 20 per sq ft.

Dubai Marina

The community average is AED 16.1 per sq ft, and there aren’t any huge variations. Some of the key projects are listed below.

Emirates Crown - AED 12.36 per sq ft

No.9 - AED 12.98 per sq ft

Sparkle Tower - AED 13.6 per sq ft

Marina Gate - AED 14.15 per sq ft

Elite Residence - AED 14.53 per sq ft

Princess Tower - AED 14.59 per sq ft

Le Reve - AED 15.55 per sq ft

Cayan Tower - AED 15.81 per sq ft

23 Marina - AED 16.69 per sq ft

Silverene Towers - AED 18 per sq ft

Marina Promenade - AED 19.12 per sq ft

Park Island - AED 19.8 per sq ft

Emirates Hills

The service charge for Dubai’s most exclusive residential community is AED 1.53 per sq ft.

JBR

You can expect to pay AED 15.4 per sq ft at Jumeirah Beach Residence, and the charge is fairly standard across all of its residential towers.

Jumeirah Golf Estates

On average, the service charge is AED 6.24 per sq ft across all of the subcommunities of JGE except Hillside, where you will pay AED 5.13 per sq ft. It should be noted that service charges in JGE apply to the built-up area of the villa, not the plot.

Jumeirah Islands

The service charge in this beautiful waterfront community is AED 4.63 per sq ft.

Jumeirah Park

You will pay AED 2.61 per sq ft on average in Jumeirah Park.

Jumeirah Village Circle

The average service charge in JVC is AED 9.73 per sq ft, and there isn’t a huge variation across projects.

Mudon

Service charges here amount to AED 3.10 per sq ft.

Palm Jumeirah

While the average service charge for the island is AED 12 per sq ft, how much you pay depends a lot on what kind of property you’re in. A breakdown of charges for villa and a few different apartment projects is below.

Villas

Service charges for the villa on the Palm Jumeirah fronds are as follows:

Signature Villas - AED 1.64 per sq ft

Canal Cove Villas - AED 3 per sq ft

Garden Homes - AED 3.15 per sq ft

Apartments

Azure Residences - AED 8.38 per sq ft

Shoreline Apartments - AED 11.5 to AED 12 per sq ft

Golden Mile - AED 16.07 per sq ft

Muraba - AED 17.5 per sq ft

Tiara Residences - AED 19 per sq ft

Serenia Residences - AED 20 per sq ft

Five Palm Jumeirah - AED 23 per sq ft

Oceana Residences - AED 25 per sq ft

Town Square

The average service charge is AED 13.5 per sq ft for the apartment projects and AED 3.5 per sq ft for townhouses.

Victory Heights

The average service charge across the community is AED 4.54 per sq ft.