Ajman [Unsplash]

Ajman becomes latest emirate to issue holiday home rules

UAE: Ajman has become the latest United Arab emirate to issue rules to develop a sustainable holiday home model, as of the start of the month.

Ajman has been investing heavily in a pipeline of new holiday homes in recent months as it builds up its offerings in emerging tourist destinations and experience-based activities.

The new rules will enable landlords to lease apartments for more or less than a fixed one-year contract. Authorities in the emirate have also recently expressed their commitment to ensuring that holiday home properties are not left unoccupied for extended periods of time, taking away available potential housing stock from locals.

Elsewhere in the UAE, it was revealed in January that Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority [RAKTDA] was set to introduce measures that would simplify the holiday homes system in the emirate. The measures, which would require owners and operators to access an electronic registration portal to register their residential units on a short-term rental basis, would make it easier for owners and operators to acquire short-term rental permits and convert their properties for the desired use as holiday homes.

Ras Al Khaimah is stepping up its efforts to strengthen its tourism and hospitality offerings, including adding to and diversifying from its existing core accommodation portfolio of four- and five-star hotels, as well as tourist resorts, to boost investor interest.

Meanwhile last August, a new regulatory framework was launched for residents in Sharjah who want to rent out their homes or properties as holiday homes to tourists, as part of the emirate’s Holiday Homes Project.

Under the terms and standards approved by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority [SCTDA], the first year-long phase of the project was said to involve the registration and licensing of 150 holiday homes in the emirate, meaning that residential units can be rented out on a rotational basis. Field visits, inspection campaigns and in-person or digital follow ups are being carried out on the holiday homes themselves, as well as the operators and owners.

Meanwhile, the Government of Sharjah is offering official guidance on operating requirements, classification criteria, potential violations and other mechanisms for the Project, in line with international holiday home best practice.

Dubai is also experiencing elevated demand for holiday homes, due in part to the Eid holidays rising occupancy levels to more than 90 per cent.

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