Good point you make. Thats the third thing I would care about when looking at property, next to the price listing and #1 locationnn.
Maintenance for off-plan speculators is not a big deal. They sell the property as soon as a nice profit opportunity comes passing by. My guess is that half of the market is controlled by investor speculators, or maybe a little less.
RERA is soon going to release a residential map that gives oversight in the property market prices by region. This will greatly enhance the oversight in rents and fees. Maintenance price indications shall be derived from this eventually, I think.
I don't know how this is settled right now, but maybe this will become uniform in time. It is illegal in UAE to form unions for all I know, but there are groups of owners that have raised voices to resist against the increasing maintenance fees. They demand more clarity and oversight into the expenditure of these building maintenance funds.
There are talks going to hand out a uniform residential visa that applies to all emirates in the UAE (excluding Sharjah??). This should deliver more investor confidence in the future. Sharjah is the only emirate where you are not able to purchase freehold property. Only leasehold. The ruler keeps the right to toss you out. Maybe that changes too with one type of residential visa...