Dubai’s Tourism Authority Starts Process To Issue Holiday Homes Licenses

The first phase of applications is restricted to entities that intend to operate a portfolio of at least 20 properties in Dubai.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) announced that it is now open to receive applications for licenses to operate holiday homes in the emirate.

The announcement follows a decree issued by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in December 2013, concerning the regulation of the holiday homes market. Under the law, from June 15, 2014, the operating of residential properties for use as holiday homes will be restricted to licensed operators.

The first phase of applications is restricted to entities that intend to operate a portfolio of at least 20 properties in Dubai, a statement said.

Home owners who want to rent out their property as a holiday home will need to use the services of a licensed operator, it added.

The first stage of the trade license application process is to apply for an Initial Approval. After receiving that, the applicant will have three months to fulfill the requirements for the final license. The application procedure has been listed on DTCM’s website.

Khalid bin Touq, executive director of Licensing and Classification, DTCM, said: “Through regulating the use of properties as holiday accommodation, the objective 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.

“Visitors booking their accommodation through licensed operators will have the assurance that the accommodation they are booking 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.”

The statement clarified that a holiday home is classified as a furnished accommodation which is rented as a whole unit on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis without the issuance of an EJARI regulated tenancy agreement and should be registered with DTCM.

Dubai is currently looking to boost accommodation options for tourists, as it works towards its plan of attracting 20 million tourists per year by 2020.

Over 11 million guests stayed at Dubai’s hotels last year, up 10.6 per cent compared to 9.9 million in 2012, according to DTCM. On the supply side, the number of hotel rooms and apartments at the end of 2013 amounted to 84,534 (611 establishments) compared to 80,414 (599 establishments) in 2012, an increase of over five per cent.

To accommodate its targeted visitor numbers for 2020, DTCM estimates a total requirement of between 140,000 to 160,000 rooms.