Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing has outlined new regulation and criteria for the emirate’s holiday homes.
The new rules will be seen as a blow for over the top players like Airbnb as they require owners to hold a licence before renting their homes and the use of licensed operators for listings. A quick inspection of Airbnb showed over 300 rentals listed in the emirate.
DTCM said the new regulation aimed to make the segment more attractive to tourists as Dubai seeks to diversify its hospitality offering before 2020, when it aims to attract 20 million visitors.
It detailed specific criteria for homeowners to meet to apply for a licence, including quality standards, amenities, health and safety, insurance, a code of conduct and wider community integration.
Homeowners are also required to use a Dubai Tourism licensed operator to rent out their homes.
Operators will be liable for ensuring the property meets requirements, complaint management, maintenance and accurate listings.
Registered homes will be classified either ‘standard’ or ‘deluxe’ and be regularly inspected, according to the organisation.
“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 Dubai Tourism executive director for licensing and classification Khaled Bin Touq.
“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.”
To date, 57 operators are licensed to rent holiday homes and more than 1,633 properties are registered, Dubai Tourism said.