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Is it legal to sublet or lease out homes as holiday homes in Dubai?

Photo by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

Many residents hop on a plan to the beat the heat, pack up for a holiday or travel frequently for work, leaving their houses empty. Other have smartly covered their holiday costs by renting out their apartments or houses while away. But is it legal to sublet or lease out your homes on a short-term basis as a holiday rental in Dubai?

Much like the growing popularity of sites like Airbnb and Booking.com, it is now possible to rent out your home as it is fully legalized by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Holiday homes can be licensed by the property’s owner or a licensed operator. Also, renters are permitted to short-term let, only with the owner’s permission of course.

There’s a high demand for short-term rental accommodation, especially in Dubai.  The number of tourists visiting Dubai reached 8.1 million in the first half of 2018 while 8.06 million that Dubai last year. With a slight increase in visitors, many of them would choose or prefer Airbnb accommodations rather than a hotel or serviced apartment stays as they are able to be immersed in neighborhoods and townhouses their staying at. They have more flexibility, one-on-one interaction with the owner, privacy, and Independence to name a few. Overall, it’s a more authentic experience. 

There’s a process in order to be granted the freedom to sublet or lease out homes as holiday homes in Dubai and you don’t need to go through an approved Dubai Tourism holiday homes operator, meaning that you could legally list your properties on popular leasing sites like Airbnb and Booking.com.

In order to obtain the license, homeowners must make sure their property follows Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing’s (DTCM) standards. It needs to meet the required health, quality and safety standards at the same time offer all essential amenities, safety, health, and insurance benchmarks and services. They will be held accountable for ensuring the property meets all legislative requirements and is accurately listed to visitors.

The required documents needed to are some but not all of the following: Title Deed, Authorization Form, DEWA Bill, and ID copy. It will be then classified as Standard or Deluxe. On a monthly basis, a tourism dirham amount needs to be paid to DTCM.

Much like the popularity of sites Airbnb and Booking.com, there is an increasing popularity in popular rental platforms and this applies to short-term travelers in Dubai, who prefer to stay in residences such as apartments in City Walk Dubai rather than hotels. Because it is fully legalized by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, tenants can easily sublet or lease out homes as holiday homes in Dubai when they are out of the country on holiday or are frequently flying for work.

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