Stock Abu Dhabi skyline city UAE
Pigeons fly across from the Abu Dhabi corniche Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Holiday homes are a rising trend in the UAE, and if you are a homeowner in Abu Dhabi, you can cash in on this opportunity by converting your villa or apartment into a holiday home. To register your villa or apartment as a holiday home, you must apply for a permit with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).

So, if you are thinking of earning an extra income this summer, here is all you need to know about the process and cost of issuing a Holiday Home Licence with DCT Abu Dhabi.


How can I put up my Abu Dhabi home on Airbnb?

If you are interested in putting up your property as a holiday rental in Abu Dhabi, there are three factors that you should keep in mind before you begin:

• Firstly, you need to be the home owner of the property being registered as a holiday home, with the residential unit either fully or partly registered under your name. Tenants cannot put up a property they are leasing, as a holiday home in Abu Dhabi.

• Also, before you can put up your home as a vacation rental on Airbnb, you need to apply for a holiday home permit through the DCT Abu Dhabi website. Only properties that have been registered as a holiday home can be listed on Airbnb, following an Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between DCT and Airbnb in February this year.

• According to DCT, the unit has to be an integrated private house or apartment owned by a private owner. It cannot be individual rooms.

What is Airbnb?
It is a US-based online platform that offers vacation rentals, set up in 2008, used globally.


How do I apply for a holiday home in Abu Dhabi?

To apply for a holiday home permit, follow these steps:

1. Create an online account on DCT Abu Dhabi website here: and enter the following details:

• Username and email
• Create a password
• Full name
• Date of Birth and birth place
• Emirates ID
• Passport number and place of issue
• Home address
• Company name
• Company address
• Mobile phone number

2. Once you have created your account, click on submit. Then go back to the homepage and log in with your new online account. Before you start applying, make sure you have the following documents:

• Emirates ID
• Passport number
• Insurance certificate for the home
Tawtheeq contract (rental contract) 
• Tawtheeq number

3. Once you have created a new account and logged in, you will then see the application page for the Holiday Homes Permit on your personal account dashboard.

4. Click on the ‘Apply for HH permit’ tab.

5. Type in your Tawtheeq number and click on ‘next’.

6. Once you type in the Tawtheeq number, the permit application page will automatically fill in the lessor’s full name, nationality, Emirates ID and mobile number.

7. Once you have verified and checked if the information filled in is accurate, upload the insurance certificate and Tawtheeq copy and agree to the terms and conditions.

8. Click ‘submit’.

9. The submission process is complete and it is now under review for approval by DCT Abu Dhabi.

10. If the application licence is approved, you will be notified via your registered email address. You must then login again and process the payment. On your account dashboard the status of the application will state, ‘Pending Payment’. Click on ‘pay now’.

11. Review the tax invoice by DCT Abu Dhabi first, and then click on the ‘pay now’ button below. You must pay for the licence via your debit/credit card online.

12. After paying the fees, you will then be able to download your receipt and Holiday Homes Permit.

Permit fee

The licence application fee is Dh900 and it is non-refundable.

According to DCT Abu Dhabi, the licence is valid for one year but you can apply for a renewal request. The renewal application must be submitted within a month of the licence’s expiry. If your licence is about to expire, DCT Abu Dhabi will notify you through email six to eight weeks before the licence expiration date. You will have to pay Dh900 to renew the licence.