UnderTheDoormat signs deal to open up Oman’s short-term rental market

Oman/UK: Visit Oman has signed a partnership agreement with the UnderTheDoormat Group, a deal which paves the way to opening government-approved short-term rentals in Oman.

At an official ceremony hosted by His Excellency Azzan Al Busaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in Muscat, the partnership agreement was signed between Shabib Al Maamari, managing director of Visit Oman, and Merilee Karr, founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat Group.

As the partnership launches, International Tourism Complexes (ITCs) will lead this innovation in the Sultanate, including some of the largest property developers and hospitality companies. The first properties were put live through the Hospiria technology in time for the World Cup in November.

ITCs, SMEs and, in future, individual property owners with an approved license, will be able to access the global short-term rental market through a single technology system, Hospiria. This will connect their homes, villas or apartments to guests and travellers seeking short-term rental accommodation during their stay in Oman, through an officially approved channel.

The partnership will provide the opportunity for both large tourism companies and SMEs to provide their services to property owners and deliver additional rental income opportunities, as the Hospiria technology will link and market their properties via the largest online booking engines and aggregators in the world with a single system to distribute and manage their portfolios.

Merilee Karr, founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat Group, said: “Oman’s innovation in opening the short-term rental sector for approved companies and owners is a game changer for tourism in the country, and a great example of how technology can help enable the responsible growth of our sector. We are excited to partner with a forward-thinking market to open up short-term rentals for visitors from around the world wanting to experience the authenticity of this amazing country and stay in a beautiful home, villa or apartment for their visit, with confidence.”

“The Hospiria technology covers the whole guest lifecycle which will provide many benefits to short-term rental owners and companies – from distributing to 40+ channels (including the likes of Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, vrbo and Marriott Homes and Villas as well as Omani travel portals in the future), dynamic pricing to maximize rates, direct booking capabilities, automated check-in software and smart scheduling to enable owners and companies to manage their guest experience efficiently and to the highest standards. The Hospiria platform will provide crucial technology infrastructure to the country that will enable this ecosystem to thrive by supporting a balanced approach to opening up the sector,” she added.

Shabib Al Mamari, managing director of Visit Oman, said: “Through the Visit Oman gateway, the Hospiria platform will provide an efficient launching point for Omani companies, SMEs and property owners to place their apartments, villas and homes onto the short-term rental market globally. This latest Visit Oman initiative with UnderTheDoormat falls in line with the broader, existing Oman Tourism Vision 2040 strategy, and serves to shift the Sultanate of Oman towards a more diversified and developed tourism economy, and one that leverages digital innovation and technology to maximise value for the Omani tourism market, as well as the tourism-related SME economy in Oman.”

Licensed and approved companies, SMEs and property owners in Oman who would like to register their interest in being a part of the program can contact the Visit Oman team through the dedicated website www.visitoman.om and click on “Register now”. Tourism management companies, operators and portals who are interested in accessing the system and the accommodation for their clients can register with Visit Oman through the same link