Holiday-home players in Dubai's Downtown relieved

Holiday-home players in Dubais Downtown relieved

Dubai - All operators and individual owners must have a valid permit for practising the activity before marketing on online booking platforms.



by

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Mon 9 Sep 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Sep 2019, 9:56 AM

"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."
Sarah Bacon, Founder, WeShareProperty, said: "If there's one thing that worries the investment world, it's unpredictability. If they can't predict something it is by nature volatile, and you don't have to be an economist to understand the impact of volatility in the market. Whether perceived or actual, increased volatility in the real estate market at the moment is not a good thing."
Bacon opines, Emaar's recent announcement that short-term lettings companies were no longer permitted in downtown properties caused ripple effects across the real estate industry. It was both unexpected and came with an extremely short timeline for implementation. Owners, residents and short-term lettings companies were left unaware what their next steps should be.
"The calm reaffirmation from the DTCM that all holiday home companies need to come with a valid permit was the right move. No one wants to see their property prices depreciate, feel unsafe, or see increased wear and tear due to short-term lettings. However, use of short-term lettings companies is certainly no guarantee that any of that will occur," Bacon concludes. 
- sandhya@khaleejtimes.com


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