Dubai:  His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued Decree No. 41 of 2013, concerning the regulation of the holiday homes market in Dubai.

With the objective of contributing to the growth of the tourism industry by broadening the range of accommodations available to visitors, the decree dictates that Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) will be responsible for the granting of licenses to those parties who intend to rent out a furnished residential property on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, the Dubai Media Office said.

The decree dictates that DTCM will define the standards that must be met and procedures that must be followed in order to receive a licence; accept licence applications and approve or deny such applications; conduct inspections on the properties to ensure they meet the required standards; and create a database of all such licensed establishments in the emirate.

Restrictions will be placed regarding in which areas of the emirate licenses will be granted and two new classification standards will be added to the existing framework, with Holiday Homes being classified as either Standard' or Deluxe'.

Helal Saeed AlMarri, Director General of DTCM, said:"The regulation of the renting of properties as holiday homes will have a considerable positive impact on two of Dubai's key industries –tourismand real estate.

"With regards to tourism, in order to achieve the target of welcoming 20 million annual visitors to Dubai by 2020, one priority is the supply of visitor accommodation and broadening the range of accommodations available is a major part of this. We are working with the private sector to bring more five star hotels to the emirate and in September of this year, DTCM announced a financial incentive for the development of new three and four star hotels. Now, under the directive of Shaikh Mohammad, the licensing of properties as holiday homes will add further accommodation options.

“By including holiday homes as part of our Hotel Classification framework, we will ensure that visitors can book a private apartment, townhouse or villa with full confidence that the accommodation is of a quality standard, has the appropriate insurances, and is managed by a qualified party.

“With regards to real estate, this decree provides a potential revenue stream for owners of a second or multiple properties: an alternative to renting out the property on an annual lease. By being part of the wider Hotel Classification Scheme, property owners will be able to benefit from the growth of visitor numbers over the coming years."

Following the issuance of the Decree, DTCM will now commence preparations to activate the directives and establish the processes required.

The Hotel Classification Scheme was passed into law in May of this year, with the objective of improving clarity and increasing the type and quality of hotel rooms and accommodation available across Dubai and the services provided within the establishments. The scheme adopts a multi-layered framework to rate and categorise each hotel and hotel apartments establishment, with specifications on the requirements for different types and levels of Guest Accommodations.