Alternative hospitality options in Dubai

Alternative hospitality options in DubaiImage Credit: Archives,

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) started issuing licences to holiday home operators last month, which will give visitors to Dubai more hospitality options.

Late last year His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, issued Decree No. 41 of 2013, regulating the vacation rentals market in Dubai. The move opens a platform for homeowners to generate income from their property through short-term lease, with the support of a licensed operator.

To become a licensed holiday home operator, one has to own a minimum of 20 properties. Initial approval from the DTCM is also required before an applicant can proceed with the licensing process, says Khalid Bin Touq, DTCM's Executive Director of Licensing and Classification.

''Upon receiving the initial approval, applicants will have a maximum of three months to satisfy the requirements for the final trade licence and consequently become a licensed holiday home operator,'' he says.

As an alternative hospitality accommodation, holiday homes are expected to offer affordable short-term rental options compared to hotel and serviced apartments, especially during peak tourist seasons when hotels generally operate at full occupancy and charge the highest rates.

The new regulation is also a timely initiative as Dubai prepares for a tourist rush in 2020, says Robin Teh, Country Manager - UAE, Chesterton Middle East and North Africa. Hence, a regulated holiday rental market will benefit not just tourists but also property investors who are looking to lease their property for a shorter duration. The short term rental option is not constrained to tourists alone.

''It could also provide a viable alternative for people working on short- or medium-term projects or those relocating here with their family,'' says John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco Property Management. ''Moving into a short term leased apartment or villa offers these prospective tenants an alternative to living in a serviced apartment, allowing them time to study the market and choose a more permanent accommodation at their leisure.''

The holiday rental market will help increase the supply and range of short-term rental units in Dubai, in turn creating healthy competition. Hence, tourists and temporary tenants can save on cost because of more affordable prices.

Source: Hina Navin, Special to Property Weekly


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