Today, there’s a rise of interest among travelers for Airbnb accommodations globally. And Airbnb is finally gaining a foothold in the UAE market, providing a greater diversity of accommodation, which is essential to accommodate more visitors.
The online home rental service is a growing trend. Airbnb (online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging), which can be accessed via either its websites or mobile apps, is gaining popularity as a way to instantly search for accommodation (apartments or villas) on certain, dates, in a certain location, and at an affordable price. Creating an account on Airbnb is free and it is relatively simple process. Is Airbnb safe and secure? Airbnb has taken some actions to help promote safety and security for hosts and guests, such as having users provide identification, a Verified ID system, which confirms people’s identities, and users book, and pay through a secure platform. Users must provide a valid name, email address, telephone number, and payment information for a reservation. Other safety features, such as users’ feedback, periodic checks from Airbnb itself on hosts and guests against regulatory, terrorist, and sanctions watch lists, as well as account protections and scam prevention provisions, help travelers turn more and more to this company for their lodging needs.
As of 2016, US start-up Airbnb and DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) have signed an agreement making Airbnb legal in UAE. Since then, a number of guests travelling to the UAE have used the Airbnb platform (https://www.airbnb.com/s/United-Arab-Emirates).
Airbnb rentals, which is only regulated in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, hopes to soon enter key markets such as Abu Dhabi. Currently, there’s no regulatory status (i.e., the new rules and responsibilities in home sharing) of Airbnb within the capital. Hopefully, this will soon change with full-scale launch in the emirate and the possibility to register rental properties with the relevant tourism authorities and gain a permit; a signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbnb is currently pending.
Airbnb entry in UAE hospitality market is sure to produce effects as competition will increase in the region, all for the benefit, hopefully, of the tourist.
Airbnb in the UAE with its homesharing business model might not have been an immediate success where allowed, but it is continuing to attract more and more travelers with its unique approach toward lodging. Airbnb offers someone’s home as a place to stay, instead of a hotel. This creates opportunities for UAE national and residents with extra space in their own home to make money allowing guests in.
The Airbnb service in the UAE has simplified diversifying the city’s offering, and therefore we are to surely see more users choose the home-sharing platform. One can expect an even larger supply of residences across the emirates that could be listed on Airbnb.com before long.