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Business Property


COP28 helping Dubai holiday homes too - with some Dubai Marina units at Dh6,000+ a night

Average rates surge 20%, with peak overnight stays hitting Dh6,000 in some cases

COP28 was all about boosting occupancy at Dubai's best hotels. But luxury short-stay apartments in the city too have been feeling the demand spike.
Image Credit: Frank Porter

Dubai: Check out the popular hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and you will get this feedback – ‘No bookings available until December 14. COP28 delegations are here’.

Now, ask property management companies and property owners in Dubai about what’s happening with short-stay demand, chances are you will be hearing about ‘COP28 demand’.

That’s right, Dubai’s short-stay property market is indeed getting its share of the boost from the global event at Expo City, which opened November 28 and runs through to December 12. In fact, bookings run solid right through to early January, with COP28 guests being followed by end-of-year revellers.

“We are at peak occupancy - over 90 per cent - due to it being the high Dubai season,” said Anna Skigin, founder and CEO of Frank Porter, which specialises in holiday homes. “(COP28 guest demand) has been predominately linked with hotels, but we are still able to capture all last-minute interest due to new short-stay properties coming on the market daily. And also any last minute cancellations.”

Depending on location and building, higher rates on short-stays in Dubai Marina is around the Dh5,500-Dh6,000 mark for a night, while similar ones in Business Bay’s would be Dh4,000 and well over.


Almost 40% of our apartments have been booked out by delegates, speakers and visitors...

- Shilpa Mahtani of bnbme

A year-end bonanza

For property investors who have let out their units for short lease stays, this is turning out into a full-fledged bonanza. Right until the start of November, it was widely believed that the COP28 rush will ‘only’ be felt by the city’s five- and four-star hotels. Most of the government delegations had booked well in advance, and whatever hotel rooms were available beyond that was snapped up by other visitors to the global sustainability conference.

But by mid-November, Dubai’s short-stay properties were getting enquiries and bookings, and even from delegations. "Almost 40 per cent of our apartments were booked by delegates, speakers and visitors at COP28 and coming from Indonesia, Singapore and Europe,” said Shilpa Mahtani, Chief Business Officer at bnbme holiday homes.

“In fact, we even saw a 20-25 per cent surge in requests for environment-friendly and sustainable homes.”

We are getting more and more requests about putting properties on short-term in time for the New Year and hitting that high 2024 season

- Anna Skigin of Frank Porter

Of course, rates have shot up

These days, short-stay rental rates are all dictated by ‘surge pricing’, and ensuring the best possible outcomes for property owners and management companies. By the looks of it, this December will turn in the highest rate gains over the comparable period in 2022 and 2021 (which had their own boom periods going with the FIFA World Cup and the Expo 2020 event).

“Normally, the first two weeks of December are quiet for tourism as people stay home in preparation for Christmas and New Year travel,” said Gregory Lewis, founder of Airdxb.

“COP28 flipped this trend on its head and we are seeing the busiest December since our inception – with record-breaking daily rates as well.

“We haven’t seen any evidence of slowdown - in fact our stock (of managed properties) is increasing and we expect this to continue into 2024.”

December 2023 is going to be a monumental month for short-let listings in Dubai

- Gregory Lewis of Airdxb

Another burst of rate increases?

Market sources say the Dubai short-stay market is primed for a sharp increase in the final two weeks of December, and that what COP28 served up s demand was more the appetiser. “We are definitely seeing increases in number of reservations as well as ADR (average daily rate) in comparison to last year by almost 20 per cent," said Shilpa.

All of which adds up to another exceptional closing of the year for the Dubai short-stay market - and all its stakeholders.