How To Make Money With Airbnb In Dubai

Do you own a house in Dubai and want to get 50% more rent – legally – with just a few conditions?

Turning your property into a short-term rental for tourists has long been possible thanks to licensed agencies, who handle the marketing and grunt work – but take a big chunk of it in return.

However, since April of last year, owners have the legal option to remove middlemen and list their property directly on home-sharing giant Airbnb.

While Airbnb had been active in Dubai for years, it had long operated in a legal gray area. New rules introduced by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Business Marketing (DTCM) allow owners to list their properties on the site.

Tenants also have the option of subletting their rented accommodation, but only if the landlord agrees.

Like most investments, a strategy is needed to achieve high returns, says a Pakistani businesswoman who started her company, One Perfect Stay, after seeing the future of properties listed on Airbnb.

Tight specifications

Properties in upscale neighborhoods popular with tourists have the most notable returns of “30, 40, or even 50% more” than returns from homes rented to residents on a standard annual basis.

Apartments or villas in Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Downtown and Palm are by far the most sought after.

His company employs 15 people who market, service and manage customers for a current inventory of 10 homes listed on the site. She takes a 25 percent share of the profits. Most of the owners live abroad.

And there is no profit without effort. The process of listing properties on the site can sometimes be like trading stocks and shares.

Robust platform

“Airbnb is very, very competitive… we have to be very vigilant on this platform,” says Ali, who begins each day with a routine similar to that of a Wall Street broker.

“We have to adjust the rates, not just daily, but two to three times a day.”

Yet there is a growing market. A spokesperson for Airbnb said the company had “continued to see dynamic growth for Airbnb in Dubai, both in terms of the number of units installed on the site and the number of guests staying in Airbnb accommodation. on a trip. To Dubai. ” The spokesperson declined to give figures on the number of properties listed on the site.

DTCM, the Dubai body that regulates accommodation listed on Airbnb, did not return a request for comment for this article.

Despite the April rules giving power to owners in Dubai, it is not clear whether it is legal to list properties in the other six emirates on Airbnb. The rules also allow only full accommodation to be rented. If you do not register your properties with the DTCM, you will be liable to a fine of 5,000 Dh.

A lot of work

“The workload of managing a single property on your own is enormous,” says Henry Marklew, UK Development Manager for Edwards and Towers, a United Arab Emirates-based real estate broker.

There are also horror stories. “Obviously you have a lot of hard-working clients,” Marklew says diplomatically.

Ali, the boss of the vacation home business, says guests from hell can be avoided with an “on-site check procedure” that involves a lot of instinct – and hard-earned experience.

At first, a guest from London left a luxury property with broken vases and stained linens. The guest had booked a month-long stay, but left after just six days, according to Ali.

He left the property in a “disastrous form” to claim to Airbnb that the property had been leased to him in its chaotic state.

“Of course Airbnb is not on the ground so they can’t say how I got them the apartment,” says Ali. “It was a lesson learned.”

Learning curve

As a local industry still in its infancy, renting an Airbnb property offers many other lessons for homeowners hoping to make a quick buck.

Earlier this summer, an Airbnb guest booked several nights in a lavish, 2,000-square-foot two-bedroom apartment in Palazzo Versace, next to Dubai Creek.

The guest, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi who was visiting Dubai with his family, found the 2,000 square foot pad delightful, according to Chand Guria, the owner.

“He also left me a nice gift, chocolates,” says the Indian businessman.

But for Guria, the generosity of the grateful guest did little to sweeten the deal.

Despite the glittering Baroque interiors and the gilt-edged furniture and tableware, there just aren’t many takers.

For starters, it’s too expensive, he says. At around Dh7million, the massive cost of ownership puts the cost per night – around Dh4,000 – out of reach for most tourists.

And then there’s the view – the most eye-catching view from the apartment is from the busy Al Khail highway, just 170 meters away.

“More tourists would like to be near the Dubai Mall, the marina or the beach,” he says. “Demand is low.

Where can I register?

How can I register my home with DTCM so that it is completely legal to register with Airbnb?

* Follow this link to the DTCM online platform: and follow the steps given on the portal – there are quite a few. You will then need to go to the DTCM in Al Garhoud during working hours on working days. Remember to bring a copy of your Emirates ID card.

* You can then upload your property and relevant documents to the DTCM platform. If you are a tenant, be sure to get a letter of no objection from the landlord. You will also need to purchase insurance for your home. Remember that you have to pay 1,520 Dh to activate your account on the DTCM online platform. There is also a charge of 300 Dh for each room in your property and a management fee of 70 Dh.

* As long as you haven’t skipped any steps, you’re good to go. When you put the property on Airbnb, just make sure you get copies of each guest’s passport and submit them to DTCM. You will also have to pay a tax to the DTCM each month. Good luck!

(Advice courtesy of Ameer Jawad, Founder of Faraway Homes, a Dubai-based vacation home company)

Airbnb in numbers

* 1,500,000: homes, rooms and spaces listed on Airbnb

* 34,000: cities found on Airbnb

* 191: country where Airbnb operates

* 5,000: dirhams that you will have to pay to the Dubai authorities if you break the rules

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