No lifts in the Burj Khalifa? Emaar threatens to switch off elevators in world's tallest building

Samreen Hayat
The 971 Report
File photo of the Burj Khalifa tower in downtown Dubai
A view of the Burj Khalifa tower is seen in downtown Dubai, in this May 10, 2011 file photo. In September 2012, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven Gulf emirates, told state employees that if they lived outside its city limits they would not be eligible for housing allowance, which accounts for about a third of their salaries. The government has said the new rule was aimed at cutting traffic and road accidents, a nod to the risk of commuting on the busy desert highway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But analysts and industry experts say the policy is designed to help absorb a glut of new high-end homes in Abu Dhabi and revive state developers such as bailed-out Aldar. The Abu Dhabi government declined to comment on the rulings implications for the property market. REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh/Files (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: SOCIETY EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)

What would be the best thing about living in the world's tallest tower? The view, the prestige...the climb up the stairs?

Yes, that is exactly what tenants at Burj Khalifa were faced with earlier this week when developers said  the elevators and air-conditioning in the 163-floor tower would be switched off as landlords had defaulted on their service fees.

Emaar told residents last month that access to facilities and utilities would be cut off on February 8 if outstanding fees had not been paid.

“We write to you in respect of outstanding service fees. Despite our earlier notice, follow-ups and legal notice issued to the unit owner the fees have not been settled,” the letter read. “Should we fail to receive the payment by February 5, we will be forced to cease all of the above services effective February 8.”

However, tenants - who faced using the stairs to reach their apartments between the 19th and 108th floors - were granted an extension.

“We got a call from Emaar that we could use the lifts and they said the air conditioning would not be switched off. They have turned off everything else – gym and pool access," one resident told Abu-Dhabi paper The National.

“We have asked for an extension of facilities since we have paid our rent in full. We view it as a small win for tenants that we can use the elevators but it’s best to move soon.”

The Burj Khalifa has 900 apartments, with rents starting from AED 100,000 for a studio to AED 450,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. Emaar said some landlords had defaulted on service fees since 2012, forcing them to consider the move.

“While most homeowners have paid their service charges, it has been noticed that a few owners are yet to make the payment. A circular has been issued to remind and urge residents to pay the service charges to ensure the seamless management of the common areas and other community amenities,” a spokesperson said.

“For the welfare of all residents, it is the responsibility of individual homeowners to make the service charge on time.”

Tenants are unsure how long the extension will be in place. Maybe they can pick up some tips from Vittorio Brumotti?


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