Palm Jumeirah beach access saga grinds on

Rules over access to beach clubs and gyms and unpaid fees continue to cause problems for people living on The Palm.

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DUBAI // Tenants are facing further frustrations in collecting access cards at the Shoreline Apartments on The Palm Jumeirah, even after landlords have paid service charges.

The developer Nakheel ruled last month that access to the beach club will not be given to flats for which service charges have not been paid.

But tenants, who are not responsible for paying service charges, are the ones who suffer.

Shuvro Houston, from the UK, said he was moving out because he had been blocked from using the beach for more than a month.

"The landlord hasn't paid the service charges so we can't get access to the beach," Mr Houston said.

"That's why we are leaving. The beach and the other facilities were the main reasons we moved here."

This month, residents tried unsuccessfully to press police into opening doors that were locked to stop them using the beach, pool and gymnasium.

Nakheel had apparently locked them to screen out service-charge defaulters.

The developer was unavailable to comment but its chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, recently defended the decision to exclude defaulters.

"We own the beach," Mr Lootah said. "It's our right to stop people entering who haven't paid."

Tenants also complain that even when owners have paid the charges, the problems are not solved.

"It's not simple to get the beach-club passes even if you have paid all the charges," said Thorkild Thorkildsen, from Norway.

Mr Thorkildsen said he not only needed receipts to prove the charges had been paid, but also a tenancy registration certificate from Rera.

To get that, he had to visit Rera's offices in Deira with the owner's title deeds and passport copy, and Dh200 in payment.

He then had to provide pictures, passports and visa copies for his family members, and a no-objection certificate from his landlord.

Nakheel said it would also require residents to have access cards to enter the apartment buildings and use the parking facilities. But the implementation of that had been postponed until tomorrow.

Another plan requiring residents to buy membership for the beach club is also on hold after Marwan bin Ghalaita, the head of Rera, said the scheme was unjustified.

Mr Lootah has said Nakheel will respect any decision by Rera.