With more than 1,800 units now approved and in operation across the city, Dubai's holiday home sector is on track to expand its capacity to cater to diversifying visitor segments.
Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) said the growth of this sector is being driven by effective government regulations designed to increase competitiveness, transparency, safety and standardisation.
The holiday home sector has emerged as a new segment in Dubai's thriving tourism industry 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.
Dubai Tourism said since the introduction of updated regulations in May, 109 homeowners had 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," 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," said Khalid bin Touq, executive director, tourism activities and classification sector, Dubai Tourism.
How to obtain licence
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. Dubai Tourism inspections ensure that holiday homes are standardised. Home owners that do not comply with regulatory demands may be issued with penalties," it said.
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 visitors.
As envisioned by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the city has emerged as the world's fourth-largest destination for tourism, boosted the tourism sector's size six-fold and assigned the government departments to work as one team to place Dubai on the world tourism landscape.
"With demand increasing, overall projected occupancy rates until 2018 are expected to be maintained at a strong 77 per cent approximately, ensuring Dubai's hotel industry retains its attractiveness while allowing the emirate to build stronger competitiveness as a global tourist destination," Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai Tourism, said.
Dubai has raised its hotel capacity to more than 100,000 rooms, and tourist arrivals to more than 14.2 million in 2015. The new target is to achieve 134,00 rooms by the end of 2018.