Abu Dhabi announces rules to regulate holiday home market

Holiday home owners in the emirate will now have to pay a tourism fee amounting to 6 per cent of the guest’s bill



Abu Dhabi has issued new regulations to regulate the holiday homes sector in the emirate.

Under a resolution passed by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, holiday home owners will now have to pay a tourism fee amounting to 6 per cent of the guest’s bill.

All those letting out their homes – on platform like AirBnB – will now require to hold licences.

Overall, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) will oversee all activity relating to organising, licencing, classifying and controlling of holiday homes, in accordance with the tourism sector’s applicable legislation.

DCT will also collect the fees for issuing licences and for providing services related to holiday homes in the emirate, official new agency WAM reported.

The executive council has also approved the decision for DCT to amend the penalty system applicable to tourism facilities in Abu Dhabi in accordance with the new legislation.

The regulation aims to “enhance the reputation of the emirate as a leading destination for high quality hospitality, and to ensure that each tourism facility is afforded equal opportunity to attract business”, the WAM report said.

It also aims to ensure governance of all business activity within the sector.

Earlier this year, Dubai also issued a new resolution governing holiday home activity in the emirate.

The new administrative order outlines rules for operators, homeowners and authorised tenants, who wish to obtain a holiday home license, a statement said.

Read: Dubai Tourism Authority issues new guidelines for holiday homes sector

Holiday home operations in Dubai began in 2015, and since then, the sector has witnessed an average annual growth of 42 per cent, with rented housing units growing from 4,738 units in 2018 to 7,005 units in 2019.

In September 2019, Dubai developer Emaar also launched a short-term rental platform for holiday homes, Ease by Emaar, enabling owners in certain Emaar communities to rent out their units as holiday homes to guests.

Read more: Dubai developer Emaar launches short-term rental platform for holiday homes