Dubai cuts hotel pre-approval times to 2 months

New approval 'one-stop-shop' to be managed by Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality is to create a 'one-stop-shop' for all hotel approvals.
Dubai Municipality is to create a 'one-stop-shop' for all hotel approvals.

Dubai government has announced a series of new regulations which will reduce the hotel construction pre-approval process for private developers to two months, from the previous range of three to six months.

The Ruler of Dubai, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issued the series of directives which have been designed to enhance and streamline hotel investment and development in the emirate.

Also announced was the creation of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all sector approvals to be created and managed by Dubai Municipality, to help reduce red tape for hotel developers, as well as for all hotel planning approvals to be managed through Dubai Municipality. Currently some Dubai free zones manage their own building regulations approvals processes for hotels, with this now be moved to Dubai Municipality.

Speaking after the announcement, His Excellency Hussain Lootah of Dubai Municipality said: “Dubai Municipality is fully committed to working with our Government partners and with hotel Investors and investors to ensure that we deliver on His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s directives and on His long term strategic vision”.

“In partnership with public and private sectors, we will identify opportunities for streamlining in the hotel development sector, and work together to address them. Our aim is to continue Dubai’s journey; to further progress from our position as the region’s leading tourism and business destination to being recognised as a global leader in trade and tourism. To achieve this, we will demand and help our partners to deliver world-class buildings standards and to create an environment of high quality, sustainable growth,” he added.

The directives were made in response to recommendations raised by Dubai’s private sector developers during a consultation workshop organised and hosted by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai Municipality and attended by representatives of key investors in the hospitality sector including Al Habtoor Group, Al Futtaim Group, Al Ghurair Group, Rotana Group, Dubai Holding and Emaar.

The workshop, held at The Address, Dubai Mall on January 16, was designed to discuss the Tourism Vision for 2020, including the recent positive growth in the hospitality sector in terms of visitor numbers and hotel openings; to identify barriers-to-entry currently being faced by hotel investors; and to find solutions to further stimulate the sector, particularly in the three and four star segment, as the Emirate prepares to welcome 20 million annual visitors by 2020.

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