Holiday Homes in Dubai, a regulatory debate

It would be unfair for our readers if in this week’s blog, I did not provide my own thoughts on the hotly debated topic of Emaar’s, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, memo saying “Homeowners operating their apartments and villas as holiday homes are requested to cease such activities before 19 September 2019”.

This news comes as a mixed bag. To homeowners who are residents, there is hope that Emaar will “restore the community to the serene, safe and peaceful neighbourhood it is intended to be”.

To homeowners, who made a buy-to-let investment, this is not news they want to hear. Especially, when recent news that the number of international overnight visitors to Dubai increased by 3 per cent in the first half of 2019, to 8.36 million - according to new figures from the emirate's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

The pressure on buy-to-let is increasing. Figures from Dubai Tourism and consultancy firm STR showed that both the average daily rate charged by hoteliers and revenue per available room continued to fall during the first half of the year. Further pressure is expected, as the supply of new hotel rooms continues to build ahead of next year's Expo 2020 event.

Undoubtedly, there will be a short-term impact on holiday home lettings in the Downtown area. In the long term, a better regulated market will mean travellers get greater value in what is one of Dubai’s premier holiday destination. As the satisfaction of travellers increase, this should drive up the demand for short-term holiday rentals and hence, better returns for investors.