Dubai: Landlords and property investors in Dubai are switching their units from annual rentals to short-term leases well ahead of the demand that will be there during the FIFA World Cup in Doha late November.
A sizeable number of newly handed over properties too are getting placed in the short-stay market, as their owners want to trial these units ahead of the main action when the matches in Doha kick-off. Dubai – and Sharjah – are to be among the biggest beneficiaries as footballs stay here and then hop over to Doha on match days. (Airlines in the UAE have already announced a roster of special flights come the World Cup.)
There is also a lot of ‘switching’ going on too. “We’ve seen more activity within short-term rentals, with more supply coming to the market as some longer-term landlords opt to switch to the short-term model to benefit from increasing occupancy rates and higher net yields,” said Jean-Pierre Mondalek, CEO of houza.com, the property leasing portal. “The demand for these units remains strong and we see this continuing as we enter into Q4-22, with the expected rise in regional tourism from the 2022 Qatar World Cup in Dubai.”
These landlords opting for short-stay rentals will also be keeping an eye on the results from Doha. “In an ideal world, if someone favours a team and that team gets knocked out in the initial round, it should then open up possibilities to pull another set of football fans for the pre-quarters and quarters,” said an estate agent who is now exclusively focussing on helping channel short-stay demand in the local property market. “By the semis, new tariffs should apply on the property bookings.
“Compared to the fixed contractual terms on one-year rentals, short-stays offer a bonanza for landlords in Dubai in the next few weeks.”
"Landlords still believe that the football fans converging to the Gulf later this year offers an unprecedented opportunity," said an estate agent. "More landlords are getting convinced this will be the case."
Sharjah too wants a slice
Sharjah has just updated its rules on short stay/holiday home leases, and estate agents say that landlords in the emirate can make full use of the overflow possibilities that will emerge during the FIFA World Cup phase. Plus, there are those wanting to be in the UAE for the final weeks of the year.
“Sharjah landlords can really cash in if they play this well – the regulator has ensured that the quality keeps up to expected international standards,” said the agent. “And at a certain discount to rates in Dubai, short stay lets in Sharjah can be quite attractive during the final six weeks of 2022.”
1-year vs. short-stays
In Dubai, this would be the second successive year of rollicking times for the short-stay category. Last year, landlords and property investors had the Expo and end-of-year festivities as the ballast. This year, the World Cup linked demand will ensure demand comes in nice and early.
Market sources talk about a 15-25 per cent increase in short stay leasing rates likely in December compared to rates now. And a 10-15 premium on rates that were there for the same period last year.