Dubai issues order to clarify holiday home rules

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has announced an administrative order to set out rules governing the thriving holiday home industry

In September Emaar issued a letter calling on all holiday home businesses to cease their activities in the Downtown Dubai for short-stays
Emaar Properties
In September Emaar issued a letter calling on all holiday home businesses to cease their activities in the Downtown Dubai for short-stays

Dubai has announced an administrative order to clarify rules governing the thriving holiday home industry in the emirate following a dispute last year.

According to Arabian BussinessDubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has outlined regulations for operators, homeowners and authorised tenants, who wish to obtain a holiday home licence.

The announcement follows a dispute in September when Emaar issued a letter calling on all holiday home businesses to cease their activities in the Downtown Dubai for short-stays, especially in the period leading up to the New Year festivities.

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Holiday home operators then took up the issue with authorities, who intervened and said Emaar could not enforce such a ban.

The announcement comes as Dubai Tourism anticipates further increases in the number of property owners moving into the holiday homes business ahead of Expo 2020.

Produced in collaboration with the Supreme Legislation Committee, the new administrative order aims to further diversify tourism in the emirate and boost competition through "safe and transparent operations".

Dubai Tourism said the technical requirements, guidelines and processes will be mapped out in a detailed guide, which will also provide an overview of the operations of a holiday home, how a licence can be obtained and should be maintained, and the rights and liabilities of developers, operators and homeowners.

Khalid Bin Touq, executive director, Tourism Activities and Classification Sector, Dubai Tourism said: “Dubai’s holiday homes market has witnessed continuous growth over the past few years, driven by increasing demand for a wide range of accommodation options from the emirate’s diverse traveller segments.

"Recognising this growing popularity for the Holiday Homes concept, Dubai Tourism is committed to enhancing the product offering, fuelling increased visitation, and making Dubai the world’s preferred destination.

"As such, this new administrative resolution will reassure the industry that we are taking steps to regulate the operation of Holiday Homes, providing a comprehensive classification and verification process and ensuring global best practices are adopted to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation of the sector.

“We remain in continuous contact with the industry to ensure the processes and requirements are clear, and as the official governing entity for the Holiday Home sector, we encourage all operators and developers to share their challenges and disputes with us to strengthen our collective efforts in showcasing the city’s multi-dimensional accommodation portfolio.”

Since the commencement of holiday homes operations in 2015, the sector has witnessed on average a 42% yearly growth, with rented housing units growing from 4,738 units in 2018 to 7,005 units in 2019.

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