Dubai homeowners and renters looking to sublet their properties à la Airbnb are in luck, as from May 2016 onwards it is perfectly legal to do so on a short-term basis.
Prior to this decision, the only way to sublet or lease your home was doing it through a Dubai Tourism holiday homes operator, unless you were the proud and wealthy owner of 20 units across the city.
But with Dubai’s Expo 2020 on the horizon, the government has seen the need to relax renting regulations and offer more than just hotels to tourists, especially if they want to reach their target of 20million annual visitors in four years’ time.
However, there are some steps to follow before you put your pad up for grabs as a holiday home, all of which are required by law.
If you’re a homeowner:
1. Register as a homeowner on Dubai’s official Holiday Homes website.
2. Choose a manager to be responsible for your property and fill in their details. This can be you, the homeowner, or a third party.
3. Upload valid copy of passport or Emirates ID.
4. Within two to three working days, your account request will be processed and you will be contacted to continue with procedures.
5. Submit requested documents at Dubai’s Tourism Office and pay Dhs 1,570 to begin approval process (Dhs 1500 for annual registration fee, Dhs50 for unit classification fee as either Standard or Deluxe, Dhs10 for Knowledge Fee and Dhs10 for Innovation Fee).
6. Submit a copy of your title deed and proof of Ejari registration as well as other required documents.
7. Upon approval, you will get an account and username as an official holiday home provider.
8. Pay Dhs300 per room for one lease term, ranging from three months to a year. You can use the same account to get separate permits for other units you own.
If you’re a tenant:
1. Follow the same process as for homeowners, aside from the steps mentioned below.
2. Get a No Objection Certificate and authorization letter from your landlord (Note: you can only sublet one unit as a tenant).
3. Submit the abovementioned documents along with a copy of your tenancy contract, proof of Eraji registration and Dewa bills.