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Dubai Tourism and Airbnb Sign Agreement to Strengthen Short Term Rentals

May 20, 2016 Destination Dubai No Comments Print Print Email Email

Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help promote responsible hosting and help grow and diversify tourism in the emirate.

It follows the introduction of enhanced regulations last month that make obtaining a ‘holiday home’ license more streamlined for individual tenants and homeowners who want to rent their homes to guests.

The MoU will bolster collaboration between the two parties and help enhance and diversify the emirate’s holiday home sector, boosting competition through a safe and transparent holiday home segment.

Under the agreement, Airbnb will cooperate with Dubai Tourism on preventing breaches of the regulation by informing all host members of the Dubai Tourism regulations via its website and through email reminders of the rules. The two parties will also explore joint marketing and promotional activations for Dubai as a tourism destination.


(Centre right) His Excellency Almarri and (Right) Olivier Gremillon, with (left) Sahia Ahmed, General Counsel, Dubai Tourism and Nicola D’Elia, General Manager – Middle East and Africa, Airbnb (Centre left) at the MoU signing in Dubai.

The MoU agreement states:

  • Dubai Tourism and Airbnb will work together to help grow and diversify tourism in Dubai, and promote innovative forms of tourism
  • Airbnb will raise awareness on the positive impacts of the Airbnb community by sharing aggregated, anonymised data about short term rental hosts
  • Airbnb will help promote responsible sharing of holiday homes by creating a “Hosting Page” on its platform, informing hosts of the rules and linking to official information
  • Airbnb will send regular reminders to its hosts in Dubai to remind them of the rules around responsible home sharing

Airbnb is an increasingly popular way for guests from around the world to experience Dubai by staying with local hosts. There are almost 3,500 Airbnb listings in Dubai. This number and the number of guests choosing Airbnb when traveling to Dubai has doubled since last year.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: “In keeping with global demand trends and a highly digitised market place for key enablers of tourism infrastructure, we are pleased to partner with Airbnb, a pioneer in this space, to help promote diverse accommodation options to our visitors in a safe, secure and controlled manner. This not only lets us be more competitive as a tourism destination but also speaks to our ability as government to drive demand led policy making and embrace innovation to further our proposition. Ultimately visitor experience is at the heart of initiatives undertaken by Dubai Tourism and this is one such example of how we continue to partner with the private and public sector to deliver against our destination promise.”

Olivier Gremillon, Managing Director of Airbnb in EMEA, said: “Airbnb is good news for Dubai. It helps grow and diversify tourism, increase consumer choice and will attract new guests to this exciting destination. This partnership with Dubai Tourism will combine the dynamism of Dubai with the passionate hosts who open their doors; creating rewarding travel experiences for guests. This is just the start of our partnership and we look forward to the future and the many opportunities it holds for travellers.”

In line with the MoU, Dubai Tourism last month updated its regulations surrounding holiday homes to become more competitive, with the most significant amendments positively impacting individual owners and tenants. Under the new resolution, private home owners can apply for a holiday home license without the need to go through an approved Dubai Tourism operator providing they meet all criteria, as can tenants who are renting a property.

Dubai Tourism has upgraded its application portal to facilitate these new license applications, and will shortly allow for all e-commerce payments to be done digitally, making it one of the most progressive destinations to use the system globally.

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