Dubai: Residents living in Jumeirah Village Triangle (JVT) are unhappy with the community’s security management, which they claim restrict access to service suppliers, maintenance workers and even private employees.
Residents are complaining that service suppliers called in to handle home maintenance issues such as a burst pipe, broken AC or other home improvement services are being turned back at the community’s gates by security.
The community’s developer Nakheel has confirmed that residents must apply for an access permit before contacting a service provider.
Gulf News talked to British Alex George, a villa owner of seven years, who described the issue with security management as “a constant battle".
“Recently, I had an issue with blocked drainage, and I called a contractor I find reliable, who told me he has been banned from entering JVT. I own a freehold villa, yet the developer is stopping me from working with a contractor of my choice,” said George.
He said that when dealing with an emergency situation at home, contractors do not have time to visit Nakheel’s offices to obtain a permit card. “Nakheel requests a copy of a trade licence, insurance cards and Emirates ID card from the contractor. They also request a copy of the contract between the contractor and the resident. This is ridiculous,” he said.
A Nakheel spokesperson told Gulf News that residents requiring services at their individual properties should email Nakheel in advance to apply for a security pass for their chosen service provider to access the community.
They pointed out there is no specified list of selected maintenance service providers at JVT or any other Nakheel community, however residents are required to use a particular company when purchasing gas cylinders.
“There was an incident last week in which one particular service provider was temporarily stopped from entering the community due to non-compliance with community rules. This issue has since been resolved,” said the spokesperson.
However, Emirati Aliah Lutfi, whose husband owns a villa in JVT, said she is getting impatient with security guards restricting access to her nanny in the mornings.
“My dad’s driver drives my nanny to my house every morning carrying copies of their emirates ID’s, mine and my husband’s emirate ID’s and our title deeds, and they still get stopped on some days. I recently missed a doctor’s appointment because of this issue,” she said.
Lutfi pointed out that on a few occasions her husband drove down to the gate to ensure that maintenance workers are let in. “Sadly, sometimes it depends on the way you look and the car you drive. It is saddening to know that non-Emiratis in the community face more issues with this,” she added.
Carrying the same impression, German Eva Wilturd said that security at JVT tend to discriminate between people depending on their appearance and car type.
“Unfortunately, if you look Western or are driving a nice car they let you in without any questions, it’s only if you have a battered car and are a worker, you are stopped. Otherwise the community gate is open, and we don’t need access cards,” she said.
Eva pointed out that she had also requested a well-known service company to come in and fix her broken AC, who were told to visit the Nakheel offices in Palm Jumeirah to obtain a permit.
“After I complained to my landlord, he signed an annual maintenance contract with a company, which the security guards seem to let in without any issues,” said Eva.
House modifications and extensions
Residents also said they have to pay high fees to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Nakheel in order to build an extension or to carry out any modification to their properties.
George pointed out he was not informed that the fee could increase over time when he purchased his villa more than seven years ago. “When I bought the property I was told I could made any extension in the back garden. Now, I am told I would have to pay Nakheel Dh380 per square foot of extension just for permission,” he explained.
Along with security issues, Lutfi also referred to the high fees charged by the developer for issuing a no objection letter for an extension and modification in a villa.
“Putting up a shed in the garden was also an issue. When we bought the house, it didn’t come with a welcome pack of what is and isn’t allowed. I have had to involve the police on one occasion where a security guard let himself into my garden to take pictures of my shed,” said Lutfi.
The Nakheel spokesperson, confirmed the fee charged for an extension is Dh380 per square foot. “For modification or civil works — such as extensions or the installation of a swimming pool — a no objection certificate must be obtained from Nakheel’s Planning and Approvals department before service providers are granted access,” said the spokesperson.