Airbnb signs MoU to promote Abu Dhabi holiday home sector
UAE: Airbnb has signed a memorandum of understanding [MoU] with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism [DCT Abu Dhabi] to promote the holiday home sector in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.
As part of the agreement, DCT Abu Dhabi and Airbnb will partner to assist in the development and growth of the sector for tourists seeking alternative accommodations to hotels.
Under the MoU, Airbnb will provide DCT Abu Dhabi with access to its City Portal solutions platform [launched in 2020], which will share important data and insights on the Airbnb platform about rental activities in the city. Airbnb is also launching 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.
It follows DCT Abu Dhabi’s request at the start of the year for holiday home operators to register on its new online licensing system, which has been set up to regulate and enhance the growing market in the UAE tourism sector. It comes as part of a regulatory crackdown by the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, following heightened demand for accommodation alternatives to hotels in the city.
HE Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The signing of this agreement with Airbnb demonstrates our commitment to expanding accommodation options available in Abu Dhabi that will enhance the emirate as a premier tourism destination in the region. In partnering with the world-leading home rental platform, we are ensuring tourists and residents in Abu Dhabi are provided with more choice for safe and secure short-term accommodation.
“This cooperation will help us meet the rising demand for high-quality alternatives to established hotels and hotel apartments across Abu Dhabi,” he added.
Velma Corcoran, regional lead Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to help encourage responsible hosting and to boost tourism in the emirate. This partnership will contribute to help grow and diversify tourism, increase consumer choice and attract new guests to this exciting destination.
“We look forward to working together with DCT Abu Dhabi, and to the many opportunities this partnership creates for travellers in the future,” she added.
DCT Abu Dhabi indicated that it would look to sign agreements with other short-term rental platforms to ensure compliance of the newly-imposed holiday home regulations.
Airbnb, meanwhile, is focusing heavily on recruiting new hosts to its platform, following what CEO Brian Chesky called “the best year in Airbnb’s history”, including a record quarter for revenue and net profit in Q4. The company reported that it now has four million hosts on its platform – around 90 per cent of which are individual hosts – but the company is facing increased competition from the likes of Vrbo, Booking.com and now Hopper Homes to provide the supply to meet the inevitable demand for short-term rental stays.