05 January, 2015

UAE timeshare industry likely grew at 30% in 2014, says report

Dubai, 05 January 2015: The timeshare industry in the UAE is estimated to have grown by 15-20 per cent in 2013 and is projected to show a growth of 30 per cent in 2014, according to a research report by Arabian Flacon Holidays (AFH).

UAE timeshare industry likely grew at 30% in 2014, says report
Demand for vacation ownership outstripping supply

Dubai set to be the fastest growing timeshare market in the world

Dubai, 05 January 2015: The timeshare industry in the UAE is estimated to have grown by 15-20 per cent in 2013 and is projected to show a growth of 30 per cent in 2014, according to a research report by Arabian Flacon Holidays (AFH).

Titled 'Demand Outstripping Supply', the report maintains that the growth is spurred by global economic recovery in general and robust growth in the UAE in particular, buoyed by strong tourism and hospitality sectors and a property market that is back to the boom cycle.

The timeshare industry, also called vacation ownership, received a massive boost in 2014 from the sustained recovery in the global economy and a resultant rise in both hotel room rates and property prices in major tourism destinations.

Dubai is set to be the fastest growing timeshare market in the world and this sector will give the emirate's economy a Dh14 billion boost by 2020 thanks to the significant increase in the number of tourists, real estate prices and hotel room rates in the emirate over the next decade, noted the monthly economic report published by AFH, a Dubai-based timeshare sales and marketing company.


"Dubai is one of the top cities in the world that receive frequent international visitors - new and returning ones - both for business and leisure, exceeding those registered by many tourist destinations globally. And this makes Dubai an ideal place to invest in the timeshare sector," said the study.

"With property prices in Dubai clocking the fastest growth rate in the world in 2013, many aspiring property owners in the emirate are being priced out of the second home or vacation home market. For such people who visit Dubai on a regular basis and stay in one of the hundreds of hotels around the city, an investment in timeshare makes perfect financial sense," said Mohannad Sharafuddin, Chairman & CEO of Arabian Falcon Holidays.

Demand-supply mismatch

The report maintains that the demand for timeshares in the UAE has been outstripping supply, prompting vacation ownership players to look for other destinations to meet demand.

"While the demand has been growing year-on-year in ("high double-digit" would mean 80-90%) double-digit rates, the number of timeshare properties in the UAE has not been able to catch up with this growth," the report said.

"One of the reasons supply has not been able to catch up is that developers and other multi-national hospitality companies are still waiting for the finalisation of the draft regulation for the timeshare sector."

The report gives an elaborate account of the proposed regulations.

Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has approved regulations to govern the timeshare industry in Dubai, which were formulated by Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval International Leisure Group (IILG), and RCI, the largest of the timeshare exchange agencies. Both companies are partners of Arabian Falcon Holidays.

Upon the passing of the law, RERA will regulate the timeshare business in Dubai through its specific Timeshare Division. A publicly available timeshare register has also been proposed.

Among others, the timeshare law will see registration of developers with RERA prior to any sales; filing of sales contracts and disclosure statements with RERA before advertising or sales can commence, which include specific information relating to the timeshare development such as the nature of the development and all related expenses and annual charges for the first year; and a 10-day cooling-off period for purchasers to change their minds in respect of the purchase, with deposits in escrow.

In the interest of transparency, owners will be entitled to an itemised budget for their timeshare, including revenue and expenses.

The AFH study has based the growth projection on the limited number of players in the market.

"With only a handful of quality timeshare resort options in Dubai currently, the sector is set to witness a rapid growth in years to come, bolstered by the organic growth that the tourism sector will see. In 2009, Dubai was not spared from the global economic recession and it was in fact among the worst performing real estate markets in the world, with property prices declining by almost 50 per cent from their peaks in the previous year. But while Dubai's real estate market has seen a swing from being one of the world's worst performing markets to being the world's best performing market in four years, timeshare as a market remains recession-proof. This also means that it doesn't see wild swings on the upside or downside - it provides the much-needed stability to the market in times of crisis while providing holidaymakers with less expensive stays during upturns as well as downturns."

On an international level, the report said that after growing for more than three decades, the vacation ownership industry suffered a setback in 2009 owing to the global economic slowdown. In that year alone, combined global sales of vacation ownership, timeshare and fractional ownership slumped by more than a quarter (27 per cent), with asset prices suffering at the hands of the credit crisis that gripped the world.

The report also listed a host of challenges such as lack of self-regulation, scammers and mis-selling that tarnish the image of the industry. Even as the region's timeshare sector has evolved under a largely ethical umbrella, small-time "cowboys" keep sprouting now and then even as authorities stamp them out through active regulations and oversight, the report said.

About Arabian Falcon Holidays
Arabian Falcon Holidays (AFH), the largest independent timeshare sales and marketing company in the Middle East, was founded in 1999 when the potential of the UAE, Dubai in particular, as  a market for vacation ownership was recognised.

Arabian Falcon is a premiere international service provider to the timeshare industry in the Middle East and has been delivering excellent client services and providing the best vacation products in the GCC market since 2003.

AFH has timeshare properties in Royal Club Bonnington Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Tower, Dubai; Royal Club at The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai;  Serenity in Les Jardins de Zyriab, Marrakech, Morocco; Palace of the Golden Horses, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Golden Palm Tree, Malaysia.

The company is licensed to market and sell timeshare in the UAE and has deposited the required AED1million bank guarantee with the Department of Economic Development, Dubai. Arabian Falcon Holidays is an active member of Dubai Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Membership No. 53170.

At the Vacation Ownership Investment Conference (VOIC 2007), Arabian Falcon Holidays was honoured to receive the Interval International Pioneer's Excellence Award, which was presented to CEO, Al Mohannad Sharafuddin by Interval International Chairman and CEO, Mr. Craig M. Nash. The award was given "for visionary foresight and recognition of the timeshare potential of Dubai , and for pioneering the marketing and selling of the city's first timeshare resort."

About Royal Club Dubai
The Royal Club Dubai is a luxury brand of vacation ownership resorts based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Royal Club's resorts are owned by two sister companies, Caryatid Properties Ltd and Dermarr Properties Ltd. Dermarr Real Estate Brokers LLC, a company based in Dubai is the authorised representative for all of these resorts and any future resorts created under the Royal Club brand. In 2010 we also opened a satellite office in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria called Dermarr Properties Nigeria Ltd. At the Royal Club we believe in delivering the best, therefore we appoint only the best companies to look after you and your investment.

About Interval International
Interval International is a world renowned exchange company with over 2,500 resorts worldwide, we have appointed Interval International as we feel that there resorts are of a similar quality to ours, all offering 5 star standards, so that you the client can enjoy them.

© Press Release 2015