The question of being able to rent out Dubai holiday homes, both on a short and long term basis has been sitting around for a while now. There was expectation that at some point the Department of Tourism would start issuing licenses to allow individuals or businesses to start renting out their Dubai holiday homes. While the wait was long, in July of 2014 the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (known in Dubai as the DTCM) announced that it was finally moving forward and accepting the first batch of applications from companies who wanted licenses to operate holiday homes.
The announcement follows the December 2013 issuance of Dubai Decree No.41 of 2013, by Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, concerning the regulation of the ‘Holiday Homes Market’.
This is a move that is going to take place gradually. As of June 15, 2014, a rule was put in place that if you are going to run a holiday home and rent it out, you must have a license and a minimum number of properties. The initial batch of license requests are expected from companies managing a portfolio of 20 or more holiday homes. This allows Dubai to tackle the larger players in the rental market first and help regulate them to make sure the highest standards are being met.
After all, Dubai hasn’t built its amazing reputation over the years as a great tourist destination through lacklustre or inconsistent hospitality. Delivering on high quality accommodation and service at every budget level is a critical part of any given turnaround.
More Dubai Holiday Homes in Time for Expo 2020
Under the new rules, holiday homes are classified as furnished accommodation which are rented as a whole unit on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis without the requirement of an EJARI regulated tenancy agreement.
Rentals need to go through a licensed operator, and while the initial applications are only open to people operating 20 or more properties, this is going to expand at some point. In line with Expo 2020, Dubai wants to see 20 million visitors a year by 2020, which means there needs to be a greater amount of available accommodation options for visitors to choose from, especially those who want more than a budget hotel room. This is good news for Dubai homeowners willing to leverage the emirate’s growing tourism market and financial opportunity the Expo 2020 Dubai will provide.
There hasn’t been any word about when the license applications will be opened up to potential renters planning on running less than 20 properties, but the process has at least started in order to get some licenses out. As time passes and as more licenses are granted, the process will likely get easier and expand.
There will be options for people with only one or two properties to enter into the short term rental market in the beginning. Their option is to find a company that has been granted a license from the Tourism Authority to operate holiday homes and use them as an intermediary. This will mean less direct profit until they can get their own license, but it does open up the option to legally rent their asset.
To meet Dubai’s goals of having sufficient accommodation for 20 million tourists a year, there’s talk of wanting up to 160,000 total rooms. The Department of Tourism in Dubai are well short of that number right now, but with more licensed holiday rentals along the way, the hope is that this will help to fill that gap.
The current economic contribution of tourism to Dubai is worth more than Dh100 billion each year. While the private holiday rental market in Dubai might not be booming quite yet, there is a lot to admire about the direction this industry is heading in and the speed at which they are approaching it.
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Images supplied courtesy of DTCM licensed Dubai holiday homes operators: