How to legally become an Airbnb host in the UAE

Is it legal for me to become an Airbnb host?

Yes, you can now become an Airbnb host in the United Arab Emirates and earn money at the same time.

In which emirates can I host people?

You can only do this if your home is in Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah – other emirates have not yet sanctioned home accommodation service.

What if I don’t own my home?

You can rent your house even if you are a tenant and you do not already own the house. Owners or tenants should always register the property through Dubai Tourism’s Vacation Homes layout in order to accommodate short-term guests in Dubai.

In this guide, we show you how to sublet or rent homes on a short-term basis without going through a vacation home operator approved by Dubai Tourism, but legally through Airbnb.

The system is implemented to ensure that owners / sub-letters meet all quality standards, codes of conduct, amenities, safety, health and insurance that the UAE hotel industry is known for. The new regulations only allow the rental of complete residential units; sharing self-contained rooms is still illegal.

For owners: here are your steps to follow

• Create an online account on the official Holiday Homes website –

• Select “Home owner” for the registration type and register as the property manager. You can also assign an appropriate third party as the manager.

• Upload a scanned copy of a valid Emirates ID and / or passport copy

• Within two to three business days, your account request will be processed and you will be contacted for further procedures.

• Go to the Dubai Tourist Office, submit the required documents and pay Dh1590 to start your approval process. This amount includes the annual registration fees (1,520 Dh), the classification fees (50 Dh) in Standard or Deluxe, the Knowledge Fee (Dh10) and the Innovation Fee (Dh10). In addition to this, you will have to pay a license fee of 300 Dh per room in your apartment for the duration of the rental (three months to one year).

• You must submit a copy of your title deed and proof of Ejari registration, in addition to other required documents.

• Upon approval, the owner will get their own username and account as a licensed vacation home provider.

• Obtain your definitive license (from 300 Dh per room) depending on the number of rooms and the length of time to register your property. You can use the same account to get separate permits for multiple units if you own the homes.

The owners are responsible for the standards of accommodation and equipment. The property is self-rated as Standard or Deluxe, but expect regular inspection by Dubai Tourism to ensure quality standards.

For tenants: what you need to do

Tenants follow the same processes with minor changes.

• Tenants need a Certificate of No Objection (NOC) from their landlord as well as a letter of authorization from the landlord.

• Tenants cannot sublet more than one complete unit at a time (room sharing is illegal).

• Copy of rental agreement, proof of Ejari registration and Dewa invoices must be submitted along with owner’s letter of authorization.

• Contact Dubai Tourism on +971 600 55 5559 for all your questions. For Ras Al Khaimah, contact RAKTDA (Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority) at +971 (0) 7 233 8998

There are certain responsibilities of being a good host. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Reasonable prices

Look for houses like yours and others in the area where the house is located. Also consider amenities such as a gymnasium or swimming pool, views, other services, and accessibility to interesting areas of the city. Set a reasonable price after taking all of that and your costs into account.

Be available

Before booking and during your guests’ stay, be available and responsive. You must maintain a high response rate by responding to reservation requests or to day reservation requests. Do your best not to cancel reservations you’ve already accepted, as this could thwart your guests’ travel plans.

Be informative

As a guest looking for a vacation home, information is key. Post as many photos as possible highlighting the highlights of your apartment or unit. Be descriptive of what you will offer in your ad. Once the reservation is made, be sure to send the details, including services, house rules (if applicable), instructions for using appliances, conditions of pets, details of check-in and check-out, and anything relevant to an incoming guest. You can also send a list of recommended things to do across the country.

Essential amenities and services

Provide basic amenities such as toilet paper, soap, sheets / sheets and at least one towel and pillow per person booked. Also make sure you have extras of all of these in case your guests need them. These days, guests like to stay in places with free Wi-Fi. Therefore, having a strong network helps make your home more attractive on top of everything else. Adapters are another useful addition for tourists from out of the region.

Share local tips

As a resident, you can have useful information for every visitor to the country. For example, help your guests get the most out of their trip to Dubai by using metro and bus services. A tip could be that taking a metro card (only costs Dh 6) is cheaper than getting a journey ticket for each metro journey (costs at least 20% more per journey than riding with a card) . Share your recommendations for places to visit or dine. Help them enjoy the best of your home and this country.

Disclaimer: These steps should be used as a guide only. Gulf News is not responsible for changes to this process. For detailed information about your home, contact Dubai Tourism directly.

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