Abraham Jonah, Dubai Bureau Chief
Dubai’s holiday home sector has recorded strong growth, with the latest figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) revealing a total of 1,805 approved units to date, benefitting both homeowners and visitors to Dubai.
This growth is being driven by effective government regulations designed to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation, and comes on the back of Dubai Tourism’s decision earlier this year to allow private homeowners to apply for a holiday home permit and start leasing their properties directly.
In the short time since the introduction of updated regulations in May, a total of 109 homeowners submitted applications for a holiday home permit, of which 39 have now been approved, enabling them to enter the market. These join the 78 approved holiday home operators already doing business in Dubai, moving forward, Dubai Tourism anticipates further growth across the sector.
To obtain a licence, homeowners must ensure their property meets the required quality, health and safety standards, while also offering all necessary amenities and guest services, as well as insurance coverage and wider community integration. Owners are also accountable for ensuring the property meets all legislative requirements and complaint management policies, and is accurately listed to visitors and sufficiently maintained.
Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director, Tourism Activities and Classification Sector, Dubai Tourism said: “To maintain standards, Dubai Tourism regularly inspects registered homes, which are classified as either ‘standard’ or ‘deluxe’ depending on their offering. At present, 83 per cent of the more than 1,800 approved holiday homes are rated standard and 17 per cent deluxe. Units are spread across the city, with the highest concentrations currently in Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach and Downtown Dubai.”
Dubai Tourism inspections ensure that holiday homes are standardised, home owners that do not comply with regulatory demands may be issued with penalties. Dubai’s holiday home initiatives are part of the emirate’s objectives to further diversify and increase its hospitality offering in line with its Tourism Vision to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020. Holiday homes also complement the positive growth trends in the city’s wider hotel and hotel apartment segment, catering to diversifying traveller demographics and needs, and ensuring Dubai provides accommodation options to suit all types of visitor.