Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 February 2020

Dubai Tourism issues regulations on holiday home rentals

New administrative order provides guidelines for operators, homeowners, developers and tenants

The holiday home sector in Dubai has witnessed on average 42 per cent yearly growth over the past five years, according to Dubai Tourism.Chris Whiteoak / The National
The holiday home sector in Dubai has witnessed on average 42 per cent yearly growth over the past five years, according to Dubai Tourism.Chris Whiteoak / The National

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing on Thursday issued an administrative order that outlines new rules governing the letting of holiday homes in the emirate.

The order sets out new technical requirements, guidelines and processes for holiday home licences and permits for homeowners, developers, operators and tenants, clarifying the existing 2013 law.

Dubai Tourism said it will soon issue a guide that will provide an overview of holiday home operations, how to obtain and maintain a licence, and the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.

“Dubai’s holiday homes market has witnessed continuous growth over the past few years, driven by increasing demand for a wide range of accommodation options from the emirate’s diverse traveller segments,” said Khalid bin Touq, director of tourism activities and the classification sector at Dubai Tourism.

“Recognising this growing popularity for the holiday homes concept, Dubai Tourism is committed to enhancing the product offering, fuelling increased visitation and making Dubai the world’s preferred destination.”

The holiday home sector in Dubai has witnessed average annual growth of 42 per cent over the past five years, according to Dubai Tourism. In the last year alone, the number of rented housing units grew to 7,005, from 4,738 in 2018.

Dubai’s holiday home market accounts for 2 per cent of the emirate’s total households, the highest proportion of all other key global hub cities, a 2019 report from Knight Frank found.

It is expected that Expo 2020 and a continuing increase in tourists will further drive growth in this market.

Decree No 41, issued in December 2013, dictates that Dubai Tourism is responsible for the granting of licences to those who intend to rent out a furnished residential property on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. While the law includes certain rules (for example, holiday homes must be leased out in whole rather than as separate rooms or bed spaces), it left other details to be decided.

In September of last year, Emaar Properties asked homeowners in Downtown Dubai to stop renting their units out as holiday homes as it launched its own short-term rental digital platform. At the time, an Emaar spokesperson said the decision was made because “several of the holiday homes were used for non-residential and non-family-related activities”.

“This new administrative resolution will reassure the industry that we are taking steps to regulate the operation of holiday homes, providing a comprehensive classification and verification process and ensuring global best practices are adopted to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation of the sector,” said Dubai Tourism's Mr bin Touq.

Updated: January 23, 2020 06:26 PM

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