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Dubai holiday homes to nearly double by year-end

Dubai is expected to see a boom in holiday homes in the coming months, with the number of registered homes expected to jump from around 800 as of last month to 1,500 by the end of this year, according to an official from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

The emirate is broadening its range of accommodations through holiday homes, which will help it achieve its target of 20 million visitors per year by 2020, Dubai Tourism said in a statement on Monday.

“As our tourism offer grows and tourism numbers continue to increase, so does the need for a variety of accommodation options,” Khaled Bin Touq, executive director, licensing and classification sector at Dubai Tourism, told Gulf News in an emailed statement.

The number of licensed operators of holiday homes in Dubai has reached 37 as of July 2015, according to the statement. Bin Touq expects the number of operators to grow to 100 within the next three years, and to 200 within the next five years.

Holiday homes are relatively recent additions to Dubai’s tourist accommodations, according to Rashid Abu Bakr, associate director at TRI Consulting.

“DTCM [Dubai Tourism] started accepting registration applications from qualified operators sometime in mid-2014. With new regulations, this market is expected to grow substantially in Dubai in the future as evident from the travel trends emerging from other parts of the world,” he said.

He added that holiday homes in Dubai attract tourists from European, Gulf and Asian families, as well as medium to long-stay business travellers.

These homes see demand from Europeans, who are spending less abroad given the weaker euro against the US dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged, and their familiarity with the concept, he said.

“When budgets are constrained, people look at these kinds of accommodation. They are typically more affordable than hotels,” he said.

Lower residential rents in Dubai are likely to encourage more property owners to operate their properties as holiday homes, which is “subject to the licensing requirements, to accommodate short and long stay guests in a bid to boost yields,” according to Abu Bakr.

Residential rents dropped by an average of 3 per cent in June, according to a report by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and MPM Properties.

The holiday homes market is regulated by Dubai Tourism. The department is responsible for approving license applications, conducting property inspections to ensure required standards are met and creating a database of all licensed properties in the emirate.

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