Gallery Suites allies with OYO to furnish and operate Dubai luxury rentals

Dubai: Gallery Suites Vacation Rentals, a subsidiary of the UAE-based IBC Group, has announced it has partnered with OYO Rooms in a US $5 billion deal to furnish and manage 10,000 luxury holiday homes in the emirati city.

The news follows IBC Group’s announcement earlier this month it was set to purchase the 10,000 luxury properties in Dubai to operate as short-term rentals and it has now teamed up with the largest hospitality firm in Asia and third in the world in OYO.

The Indian company was backed by Airbnb in a Series E investment round back in April with a reported buy-in of close to $200 million, following a previously even more significant monumental $800 million funding round led by Masayoshi Son’s $100 billion dollar Vision Fund in 2018.  

Through the partnership, both Gallery Suites Vacation Rentals and OYO aim to fulfil the ever-growing demand for high-quality short-term rental experiences in Dubai by becoming the main service providers of choice for travellers looking in the more exclusive end of the market.

The properties that were identified by the IBC Group are found strategically in locations rated as ‘high’ in the occupancy heat map which appeared in Knight Frank’s recent Dubai Holiday Homes Market Review 2019 report to outline supply demand for rentals in the city. 

It comes at a time when Skift Research estimates the cumulative bookings market worldwide for short-term rentals will go up to $115 billion this year, representing a seven per cent rise from 2018.

Gallery Suites is leveraging OYO’s expertise across the market in furnishing, marketing and revenue management to create what it intends to be ‘inspirational living spaces that deliver a tasteful, elegant and classic ambience and experience’, according to AME Info. The properties are set to feature various eye-catching artefacts and art installations to heighten the guest experience and ensure guests have an unforgettable stay in their properties.

The partnership between two industry leaders coincides with the year’s countdown to the Expo 2020 event in Dubai next year, which is projected to welcome up to 25 million visitors from around the world. 

Meanwhile, IBC Group is backed by global banking and finance leader Khurram Shroff, who recently featured in Power100’s  list of the “Top 100 Most Powerful and Influential Muslims in Great Britain and the World”.

Under the terms of the deal, the group will still own the properties but will lease them to Gallery Suites to furnish and operate, while OYO Rooms will take care of arranging all the marketing, housekeeping and check-in/check-out facilities. 

As OYO grows its footprint globally across various segments of the hospitality space (now present in 82 countries), the firm is seeking to realise its ambition of attracting a loyal customer base that will broaden its reach and reputation around the world. 

Speaking to AME Info on Knight Frank’s recent report, Shroff said: “Dubai’s holiday home market accounts for two per cent of Dubai’s total households, which is the highest proportion of all other key global hub cities. Active short-term rentals currently listed in the city number 10,766, which represents growth exceeding 160 per cent since 2016.”

Shroff’s words reflect the current mood of optimism being felt across the short-term rental accommodation market in Dubai, hence OYO Rooms’ intensifying focus on the UAE.

OYO Arabia country head for UAE and Oman, Pranav Mehta, said: “We at OYO UAE are keen to expand our engagement with the Dubai market and grow along with the IBC Group through the course of this project. 

“The unique approach that The IBC Group and Gallery Suites are taking in selecting prime hot locations, and in furnishing this portfolio of properties, as well as the scale of the venture, represents an exciting possibility for collaboration between our two companies,” Pranav added. 

For more information, visit the IBC Group website here and the OYO Rooms website here.

In other Dubai news, technology firm and vacation rental provider for the luxury hospitality sector, Maison Privee, recently signed a deal to manage a portfolio of luxury signature villas on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, valued at over US$100m.

All that and more will be the subject of discussion at IHM’s upcoming Serviced Apartment Summit Middle East and Africa [SASMEA] on 16 September, taking place at EMAAR’s Rove Dubai Marina.