Dubai was selected as one of 20 destinations globally, alongside the Canary Islands, Thailand and the Caribbean. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai – US- based online marketplace for homestays and experiences, Airbnb, have launched a ‘remote working hub’ in the Emirate in partnership with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

The new remote working hub will provide accommodation info for local long-term listings, entry requirement information, and visa policies for anyone looking to work remotely in Dubai said DET on Wednesday, December 21.

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead for Middle East and Africa at Airbnb, said, “Dubai is a global leader in facilitating remote working. As this trend continues to accelerate, we want to work together to make it easier for people to enjoy the newfound flexibility to work and travel and help the city harness the economic benefits of this new type of tourism.”

Earlier this year, Airbnb launched its ‘Live and Work Anywhere: How Communities Can Benefit from Remote Workers’ guide for governments and destinations to identify some of the most remote worker-friendly destinations in the world. Dubai was selected as one of 20 destinations globally, alongside the Canary Islands, Thailand and the Caribbean.

Read more on the digital remote working hub

Initiative ties in with UAE remote visa

The Airbnb and Dubai government partnership comes after UAE launched the ‘remote work visa’, which aims to attract talent and expertise worldwide. The one-year visa, launched in March this year, allows foreigners to enter the UAE under self-sponsorship and work in line with the terms and conditions issued with the visa. A first-of-its-kind in the region, the remote work visa enables employees to expand their digital skills and adapt to the emerging gig economy.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “Dubai’s global connectivity and pro-business ecosystem combined with visa-friendly reform has underlined the city’s status as a leading hub for remote workers.”

Moreover, recent data from DET shows that Dubai welcomed 11.4 million international overnight visitors between January and October this year, an impressive year-on-year increase of 134 per cent. These numbers represent a significant leap over the 4.88 million visitors that the city welcomed for the same period in 2021. The numbers are close to the pre-pandemic record of 13.50 million international visitors in the first ten months of 2019.

“The city is already home to over 200 nationalities that enjoy unrivalled career opportunities and lifestyle offerings. From world-class retail experiences to Michelin-starred restaurants and local cuisine, sandy beaches, theme parks and a cultural scene second to none, Dubai is yet again ready to welcome the world, this time in collaboration with Airbnb,” said Kazim.

Short-term stays gain popularity

Millions of people are now more flexible about where they live and work. About one in five guests globally reported using Airbnb to work remotely while travelling in 2021 — a trend that has continued into Q1 2022, with long-term stays at an all-time high, more than doubling in size from Q1 2019, the company stated.

In the first three months of 2022, searches for international solo travel in the UAE for long-term stays also grew by over 280 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. Dubai ranked among the world’s top three cities to live for executive nomads in the 2022 Savills Executive Nomad Index.