A state-owned newspaper in Abu Dhabi is reporting the emirate's new charge on foreigners renting homes will be backdated to February of last year — meaning a big initial bill for new tenants.

The decision, reported Wednesday by The National newspaper, comes as Abu Dhabi has seen cut backs and mergers in government enterprises over low global oil prices.

The new municipality fee amounts to 3 percent of a tenant's annual rent in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Renters pay the fee through their monthly utility bills.

Dubai, the commercial capital of the UAE, charges a similar 5 percent fee on renters.

Emiratis are exempt from the fees.