UAE - The popularity of short-term rentals is increasing meteorically especially due to post Covid travel preferences, according to industry experts.
“The trend of short-term rentals and staycations (among visitors) has rapidly risen in the past two years with companies offering flexible working hours and work-from-home models,” said Raquel Lopez, VP of Sales and Marketing GCC at Barceló Hotel Group. “Some travellers mainly large families or a group of friends, prefer short-term rentals in serviced apartments where they can enjoy the convenience of a fully equipped house.”
For others, the reason for picking short term rentals is monetary according to Behnam Eghtedari, Partner of Unique Properties. “If a large family is travelling, including the wife, parents, kids and nannies, a hotel isn’t very viable. If they rent a short-term rental, they can accommodate all at a substantial discount. Also, they can shop and cook at home whenever possible. This translates to more savings.”
Short-term rentals refer to guest stays in a home unit or serviced apartment for less than 30 days, irrespective whether they are travelling to the destination for business, leisure, or both.
Most of those preferring to stay in short-term rentals in the UAE travel from European countries or Russia, according to Behnam Eghtedari. The security and safety the Emirates provide also contributes to its popularity with the visitors.
“In an unstable country, people would choose to stay in reputed hotels or resorts to avoid any kind of dangers or scams,” he said. “In a place as safe as Dubai, people have the liberty to pick and choose the kind of property they want.”
According to Raquel Lopez, the nationalities of the people coming, and their preferences depend on various factors. “The dynamics are different depending on the season,” she said. “We have a very strong footprint in European markets. This is reflected in the short-term rentals. During the summer season, regional markets are very active, including UAE and Omani residents.”
The trend of short-term rental stay is more common among young couples than families. “That is the reason why studio and 1BHK apartments have the highest demand,” said Behnam Eghtedari.
Such guests also prefer to value added options. “Couples and individual travellers opt for other add-ons,” said Raquel Lopez. “Of course, it depends on the length of the stay and the profile of the guests. However, we have noticed that families that stay with us for a long duration prefer the ’just stay’ option.
With this trend looking like it is here to stay, more owners are turning their properties into short term rentals rather than renting it out to tenants.
“Short term rentals have become a very lucrative business, especially in tourist destinations like Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina,” said Behnam Eghtedari. “Rental companies take care of everything involved.”
However, he warned that it isn’t a cakewalk for property owners. “These properties have to compete with the luxuries and amenities offered by 4 or 5 star hotels and resorts,” he said.
“So owners have to carefully curate their services. There are guests who want various different kinds of amenities. Like some may want to rent a car, go on a cruise or enjoy in a limo. Property owners need to tie up with various vendors to offer options so that they can maintain good reviews.”
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