Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi [Unsplash]

Holiday homes policy updated to drive agri-tourism in Abu Dhabi

UAE: Owners of farmhouses, caravans and RVs will now be able to obtain licences to transform their properties into holiday homes, as part of fresh amendments to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s [DCT Abu Dhabi] holiday homes policy.

From now on, landlords and residential unit owners in the UAE capital will also be able to obtain more than one holiday home licence if they own multiple units.

According to the tourism department, the updates will present additional revenue streams for investors and property management companies in Abu Dhabi, as the government sets out to diversify accommodation offerings and create economic advantages for farmhouse owners in the emirate.

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, director-general for tourism at the DCT – Abu Dhabi, said: “Our expansion of Abu Dhabi’s holiday homes licensing policy to allow farmhouses to offer guest accommodations will support both Abu Dhabi’s hospitality and agri-tourism sectors. As the emirate witnesses substantial tourism growth, it is imperative that we continue to offer visitors unique and sustainable experiences that reflect our rich heritage and renowned Emirati hospitality.”

Farmhouse owners will be granted a six-month grace period to begin the licensing process so that they avoid potential penalties, and the DCT – Abu Dhabi will provide guidance and clarity on the new requirements.

The updated framework has also been established to encourage farmhouse owners to develop and promote “Emirati-led, immersive agri-tourism experiences”, according to the Abu Dhabi media office.

In recent years, emirates across the UAE [United Arab Emirates] have sought to diversify their economies by increasing the supply of holiday homes to match the ever-growing demand from tourists and digital nomads.

Last February, the DCT – Abu Dhabi signed a memorandum of understanding [MoU] with Airbnb to promote and assist in the development and growth of the holiday home sector in the city

Under the MoU, Airbnb agreed to provide DCT Abu Dhabi with access to its City Portal solutions platform, which shares important data and insights on the Airbnb platform about rental activities in the city. Airbnb also launched a dedicated responsible hosting page on the platform in a bid to attract new and existing hosts to sign up to Airbnb and comply with local holiday home regulations.

In Abu Dhabi, short-term rental operators are required to register their units on an online licensing system, while Ras Al KhaimahAjman and Sharjah have also launched regulatory frameworks to develop sustainable holiday home models, the latter as part of its Holiday Homes project.


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