Legal holiday home operators in Dubai's Downtown on Monday heaved a sigh of relief with Dubai Tourism, the relevant authority, clarifying the rules and regulations governing the activity.
All operators and individual owners must have a valid permit for practising the activity before marketing on online booking platforms. Both the operators and individual owners must also include the permit number in all the advertisements for each specific unit, Dubai Tourism said in a statement at a time when an Emaar notification asking all its residents to cease holiday home operations by September 19 had roiled the industry.
Dubai Tourism said bed space rental and unit sharing are prohibited by law in Dubai and, therefore, should not be advertised.
Vinayak Mahtani, chief executive officer of bnbme, said: "After days of waiting, the DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) has come out with the clarification. We had full confidence that the authorities would clarify the regulations. Let's all get back to entertaining our guests and ensuring they have a wow experience in Dubai."
Holiday home operators had expressed concern over the Emaar notification which, they said, would impact their agreements with global clients. Emaar did not respond to Khaleej Times mail at the time of going to press.
Khurram Shroff, chairman of IBC Group and Gallery Suites, said: "Highlighting the legal permits and rules that operators, big or small, need to follow, will help streamline the market and ease any concerns."
"Some holiday home companies are actually being used as an umbrella for practising bed space sharing/rental or room rentals which is illegal in Dubai, said Firas Al Msaddi, CEO, Fam properties & Fam Living.
"I think it is important to always communicate to all players in the market that this is not allowed. When such statements are made public, it is educating the landlords too. Sometimes a property can be taken from a landlord with an NOC to run a holiday home and the landlord would not actually know that it is abused to be rented on bed space basis. So I think it is important that such rules are publicly available to educate not only companies but also landlords and businessmen who wish to invest in properties and put them on short-term rentals," Al Msaddi added.
Cecilia Reinaldo, CEO, HOD.co, said: "The DTCM's memo regarding holiday home operators and individual owners reassures property owners and holiday operators what is required in order to advertise and operate short-term rentals."
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