New rules allow Dubai tenants to sublet their homes: 10 steps to follow

Homeowners and tenants can apply for a holiday home license without the need to go through approved Dubai Tourism operator

Starting May 2016, Dubai tenants renting a property in the emirate are able to sub-lease their accommodation, according to new Dubai regulations.

The new regulations, issued by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) late last month, allow both homeowners as well as tenants to apply for a holiday home licence without the need to go through an approved Dubai Tourism operator.

Once the homeowners or tenants apply for and receive the licence, they can then sub-let the property – whether apartment or villa – to third parties on a short-term basis (less than one year).

Dubai Tourism’s Online Permitting System allows users to submit and update information, pay fees, schedule inspections, track the status of their application, and print their final record 24x7.

A Holiday Home is classified as a furnished accommodation which is rented as a whole unit on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis without the issuance of an Ejari regulated tenancy agreement and should be registered with by DTCM through licensed operators/individual homeowners/tenants.

Steps to follow

#1 Register at Dubai Tourism’s Holiday Homes website.

#2 In the ‘Registration Type,’ choose ‘Home Owner’.

#3 In the next tab (Manager List), click on Add New and provide contact details along with passport and Emirates ID numbers of the property’s proposed manager. This may be the homeowner or any other person appointed by the homeowner or his/her authorised personnel.

#4 Add scanned copy of the manager’s Emirates ID.

#5 Review the application including all contact details and numbers on the designated page once the document has been uploaded.

#6 Once the application is submitted successfully, you shall receive a record number and an e-mailed acknowledgement and username/password for your account. Further, your account will get activated within 2 working days.

#7 Once the account is activated, you may log on to the same website as Step #1. Dubai Tourism will shortly allow for all e-commerce payments to be done digitally.

Until then, visit the Dubai Tourism office in Garhoud (Ground Floor, 6th, 8th and 9thFloor, Al Fattan Plaza, Airport Road, Al Garhoud, Dubai) between 8am and 5pm with the required documents to pay the requisite fees.

#8 Documents required to be submitted include:

•    For homeowners, proof of homeownership (copy of Title Deed + Dewa bill/s).

•    For tenants, a No Objection Certificate from homeowner (and homeowner’s relevant documents like Title Deed, Passport Copy), Authorisation Letter from homeowner, Ejari registration, Dewa bill/s.

#9 The annual registration fee is Dh1,500. In addition, a unit classification fee of Dh50 will be charged. Relevant Knowledge Fee (Dh10) and Innovation Fee (Dh10) also apply as with all government-related transactions.

#10 Receive your final licence depending on the number of rooms in your property, as well as the term you intend to let it out as a holiday home.

Things to keep in mind

Tenants cannot let out more than one property

There is a separate permit fees: for each unit in your portfolio, you will pay Dh300 per year for each bedroom, and a maximum amount of Dh1,200 (i.e., if you have a sixz bedrooms villa, you will only pay Dh1,200 per year).

A classification fee of Dh50 per unit shall be charged.

A Tourism Dirham fee of Dh10 or Dh15 per bedroom, depending on the classification (Standard or Deluxe), will be charged per night of occupancy. This needs to be paid to Dubai Tourism. The holiday home establishment should pay the total amount of Tourism Dirhams due for the current month not later than the 15th of the following month to avoid fine for late payment.

For long stay bookings, the Tourism Dirham will be charged only for the first 30 consecutive nights.

Dubai Tourism signs MoU with Airbnb

Dubai Tourism yesterday signed an agreement with Airbnb, a community-driven hospitality company, to help promote responsible hosting and help grow and diversify tourism in the emirate.

Airbnb will assist Dubai Tourism in 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.

Airbnb is a 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.

“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,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism.

“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,” he added.

“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,” said Olivier Gremillon, Managing Director of Airbnb in EMEA.

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