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Why Did Dubai Regulate Short Term Rentals
For years holiday home rentals fell under an ambiguous area of Dubai’s property and real estate
market. During that time, anyone who had the inkling could put their property, even a room
within their residence, up for short-term rental. This lack of regulation created several issues:
• As this the popularity of this unregulated market grew, so did the problems and headaches.
Internet scams increased with people receiving less than what was advertised, and no means of
recourse when it happened.
• A number of property owners were not vetting their short-term tenants and it began to impact
the long-term residents. As a result, many developers began to ban short-term rentals within their
communities in response to the complaints they were receiving from those residents.
• The Dubai government through its DTCM (Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing) division
has regulated the hotel industry. They have used that system of regulation to assist them in
monitoring public safety. However, short-term rentals did not fall under the same terms of
regulation as the hotels. This had created a small loophole that needed to be closed.
With the award of Expo 2020, Dubai acknowledged the need to double their accommodations
within the next 5 years to support the number of visitors anticipated.
The government has taken a proactive role in addressing this dramatic influx of visitors, and
bringing short-term rentals under the same regulatory structure as hotels plays an important role.
By doing so, Dubai will accomplish the following:
• By requiring that all properties are licensed, as well as the operators, the government can focus
on delivering quality accommodations and service. These new laws help ensure that all
properties available for short-term rental meet the DTCM’s stringent criteria, and only licensed
professionals are providing this service.
• Licensed operators are held accountable for delivering what was promised, and consumers have
recourse, by filing a complaint with the DTCM, if that does not happen.
• Only operators with experience in short-term rentals and vetting customers will be licensed,
and they will be held accountable for whom they rent property to.
• Public safety issues will be better managed and controlled through requiring short-term rental
operators follow the same check-in procedures required in the hotel industry.
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