“Feel at home anywhere you go in the world” is Airbnb’s tagline and forte, one that has not only revolutionised how most of us travel but also how some homeowners can make extra cash. However, recently released guidelines mean taking part in Dubai could land you in h0t water.
Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced new regulations for the emirate’s Holiday Home segment, which make sticking your home on rental sites, including Airbnb, could get you into trouble, unless you follow protocol.
The new regulations detail specific criteria that home owners need to meet to apply for a licence, including quality standards, amenities, health & safety, insurance necessities, code of conduct, and wider community integration.
Home owners are also required to use a Dubai Tourism licensed operator to rent out their homes, who are accountable for ensuring the property meets all legislative requirements and complaint management policies, are sufficiently maintained and amenities and guest services provided for and are accurately listed to visitors. The regulations also stipulate specific requirements for operators to adhere to in order to obtain their license, further building market confidence in the sector though internationally-aligned governance.
It means that you have to own your home. So, renting out your landlord’s pad while you’re on holiday is a no go. In fact, Dubai Tourism will regularly inspect registered homes, which are classified as Standard or Deluxe depending on their offering, to maintain standards and issue penalties for non-compliance to regulatory demands.
The new rules have been set in place in order increase the region’s hospitality offerings in line with its vision to attract 20 million visitors by 2020 – in time for the Expo and Qatar’s 2022 World Cup.
“The decision to regulate Dubai’s Holiday Home sector is to broaden the range of options available to visitors, while ensuring that the high standards of quality for which Dubai is known are maintained,”said Khaled Bin Touq, Executive Director, Licensing & Classification Sector at Dubai Tourism. “Visitors booking their accommodation through licensed operators will have the assurance that their accommodation has been classified in line with global best practices, while owners of properties will benefit from the expertise and marketing capabilities of the operator through who they rent out their property.”
He added: “The Holiday Home market is a key facet to us achieving our long-term visitor goals in addition to delivering the right accommodation mix that is extremely well regulated and attractive to the diverse needs of travellers.”
According to Dubai Tourism, to date there are already 57 licensed operators and more than 1,633 registered properties in line with the regulations.
Images: Dubai properties on Airbnb