Indian startup OYO prepares to launch OYO Homes in Dubai

India: Indian hospitality startup OYO will launch OYO Homes in Dubai, which will offer apartments on a short-term rental basis.

The UAE is the first international market in which the OYO Homes platform will be launched, and customers will be able to check into apartments on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Manu Midha, Middle East regional head for OYO Hotels & Homes, told Arabian Business: “Holiday homes in the UAE are a licenced category, landlords must be licenced with [Dubai’s] DTCM. We are a licenced platform and are equipped to operate holiday homes in Dubai, hence our move to launch OYO Homes in Dubai.”

The initiative represents the first of its kind outside India. OYO Homes will take up apartments on long-term leases from individual owners, furnish it and rent it out through its own website, as well as through Airbnb and other such rental service platforms and apps.

Midha said the UAE is the first country where the startup has decided to expand its OYO Homes platform outside India.

OYO currently has the licence for operating short-term rental homes in Dubai alone, though it operates in four cities in UAE – Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

The company is believed to have already signed up with owners of 40 properties in the UAE, and is targeting taking up 200 properties in the next six months to offer the short stay services under its brand.

Industry observers say the move to get into the short stay homes sector is a smart move in order to cater to the growing number of business travellers travelling to Dubai and other major cities in the UAE on one to three-month visas.

The company also envisages that getting into the short stay apartment segment will help it to expand its service offering, as well as attracting customers who prefer not to stay in hotels for longer periods.

One senior executive at a Delhi-based leading property consulting firm said: “For OYO, launching OYO Homes makes in Dubai makes a lot of sense as it can utilise its brand strength to get a head start in getting customers in this segment.

“Besides, there is a lot of synergy between OYO’s hotel business and OYO Homes segment and therefore can have certain common services for both,” they added.

OYO Homes will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of its apartments.

Midha said: “It is neither easy for single owners / landlords to deal with check-in and check-outs, cleaning, manage bookings nor they may have the time for these things. On our part, our employees on field can take care of everything.

“We expect this segment to achieve faster growth due to the rising number of business travellers and international tourists to Dubai,” he added.

A trained team of experts has been employed to undertake this business since OYO Homes began operations in India a year ago.

The team in Dubai, however, will be required to comply with the specific local rules and regulations to successfully implement such services.

The startup currently operates in several international markets such as China, the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, as well as the UAE.

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