Regulatory framework set up for Sharjah Holiday Homes Project

UAE: A new regulatory framework has been launched for residents in Sharjah who want to rent out their homes or properties as holiday homes to tourists and visitors 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 will involve the registration and licensing of 150 holiday homes in the emirate, meaning that residential units can be rented out on a rotational basis. There are estimated to be more than 300 holiday homes overall in Sharjah.

In addition, field visits, inspection campaigns and in-person or digital follow ups will be carried out on the holiday homes themselves, as well as the operators and owners.

Around 15 operators are said to be involved and the owners of the holiday homes will be granted three months to complete the documentation process and register their properties under a unified umbrella and database.

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

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of SCTDA, told Khaleej Times: “With Sharjah Tourism’s Holiday Homes project, the emirate’s aspirations to continue advancing this sector has crossed a meaningful milestone, as the initiative not only introduces an innovative new service to the tourism landscape but also puts Sharjah’s homeowners at the forefront of benefiting from a drive that is poised to drive more visitors from around the world to the emirate.

“Through the Sharjah Tourism’s Holiday Homes Project, we seek to maximise visitor experience by ensuring high-quality classification standards and offering additional staycation options across the emirate of Sharjah. It will further strengthen cooperation between the Authority and the providers of holiday homes by developing a system of legislation and regulations.

“This will contribute to diversifying the sources of growth for the hospitality sector,” he added.

The capital of Sharjah goes by the same name as the emirate and is the third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, only after Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The UAE in general is seeing a return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of tourist numbers. In the first six months of this year, Dubai welcomed more than 7.12 million international overnight visitors, a 183 per cent year-on-year increase on the same period a year ago.

Further boosts to tourist numbers are expected later this year when the neighbouring Arab state of Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup in November and December, marking the first time that the prestigious football tournament will have been held in the Middle East.