Everything you need to know about becoming an Airbnb host in Dubai – whether you’re the owner or not…

There’s a lot of noise out there about Airbnb. How do Airbnb and other online holiday rental marketplaces work? What does it really take to become a host? Is it safe? How do you make money?

Here’s everything you need to know about being an Airbnb host in Dubai.

Airbnb in Dubai is regulated

Above: White Palm Villa @ Palm Jumeirah

All home hosts using Airbnb to rent their properties in Dubai are required to register with the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DTCM) to obtain a permit to list their properties. This is ultimately pretty good news for visitors as they’ll have the assurance that the accommodation that they are booking has been classified as per DTCM requirements.

All Airbnb hosts are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with local legislation and regulation.

Above: 2BR at Boulevard Point Downtown Dubai

How to register and obtain a permit with DTCM

  1. Register for an online ‘Home Owner’ account on the DTCM Holiday Homes website: hh.dtcm.gov.ae/holidayhomes
  2. Follow the steps as instructed, submit the required documents and then pay the necessary fees at the Dubai Tourism office to start your approval process.
  3. After approval, the owner will get their own username and account as an approved holiday home provider. You’ll then to apply for a permit by: Clicking ‘add unit’; filling the property details form; attaching the required documents. (This includes the unit Title Deed, owner’s passport copy, authorization letter, and recent DEWA bill from the unit); submitting application and waiting for DTCM approval; paying for the permit; and finally, you’ll then be issued a certificate, which must be visible somewhere in your property.

Above: 2 Floor NYC style Loft Full Sea view

You don’t have to own your property to be an Airbnb host

You can rent your home out even if you are not the landlord/lady. Homeowners or tenants still need to register the property through Dubai Tourism’s Holiday Homes website to be able to host short-term guests in Dubai. It will also require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the property owner. For tenants who have the approval of their landlord to operate the home as a holiday home, the following documents are required:

  • Lease agreement with subleasing clause
  • A no objection certificate from landlord
  • Title deed
  • Owners passport copy or Emirates ID
  • A recent DEWA Bill (under owner or tenant name)

You cannot rent out one room in your home

As per DTCM holiday home rules, a holiday home unit should be rented as a whole unit and can’t be shared with the owner or another guest.

Above: The Lakehouse Luxury Villa, Dubai

There are companies in Dubai that’ll help set all this up for you

Does renting out your apartment sound great – except for all the work? It’s true, there’s work involved. As you’ve read, in Dubai you must register yourself, your property, and provide specific information to DTCM. Once you’ve done all that, you also need to stage, photograph, and list your property, maintain contact with guests, and adjust your availability when using multiple platforms, but you don’t have to do it all yourself.

Check out companies such as Frank Porter, Houst and AirDXB. These guys help arrange everything for you from obtaining your permit, calculating your Tourism Dirham fee each month, to sorting out the cleaning, laundry etc.

To view the full outline of rules on “Dubai Holiday Home Rental Regulations” click on the link here.