Hostmaker becomes latest operator to go live in Dubai

Dubai: London-based short-term rental property management company Hostmaker, has gone live in Dubai in its second major overseas venture beyond Europe after Bangkok.

The operator is out to capitalise on Dubai’s increasingly quick growth rates for short-term rentals ahead of the new year.

Speaking to Gulf News, Hostmaker founder and CEO, Nakul Sharma, said: “The homestay rentals market is not something that was created by Airbnb or us. This has existed previously as well. 

“However, the opportunity of professionalising the category for homeowners and guests is the strength we see in our business,” he added.

As more and more short-term rental operators make their mark in the Dubai market, hotels are facing increased direct competition in the hospitality accommodations space and room rates are decreasing as a result.

Competition is also growing between the short-term rental operators themselves and Sharma believes there needs to be more collaboration to maintain the rapid growth rates in the emirate.

He said: “I think the ecosystem must collaborate. I think it goes beyond short-term rental – I would frame it as “flexible rentals”.

“As the economy goes through ups and downs, it allows property owners to evaluate whether they want to commit to three-year contracts as before or they want to take it six months or a year at a time and see how the market evolves.

“From a tenant’s perspective, if there is uncertainty in the job market, it allows them to have flexible rental contracts rather than be committed to year-long contracts.

“I would phrase it as part of the flexible rental models we are seeing in general across categories, and this is also now applying to homes,” he added.

Sharma’s main focus for Hostmaker in Dubai is to continue developing partnerships with developers to grow its short-term rental portfolio in the gulf. 

To achieve this, he said: “Our expertise in yield management and hospitality technology is something we have built over the past five years. This has been adapted to the different markets we are in; it gathers a lot of market insight and data and that allows us to adapt to every market rapidly.

“We can partner with developers in Dubai where they are bringing the inventory. We bring the operational expertise, they can bring the supply,” he added.

Sharma also told Gulf News that Hostmaker would be “compliant with local laws in terms of registration, passing on information to the government when required and collecting tourist taxes when they apply”.

For more information, visit the Hostmaker website here.