Abu Dhabi to introduce new regulations for holiday homes

February 23, 2020
Emirate to start regulating rapidly growing tourism accommodation sector

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is preparing to launch new regulations on organising holiday homes in Abu Dhabi, based on a decision issued by the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, regarding the regulation and licensing of vacation homes in the emirate.

The new regulations governing the provision and use of holiday homes are to be introduced in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as demand for alternatives to established hotels and hotel apartments continues to grow.

The new rules will ensure all properties available to holiday-makers, which will be available on all international online platforms, are licensed and meet Abu Dhabi’s high quality and service standards.

The regulations will allow Abu Dhabi to embrace innovation and technology in the tourism sector and at the same time develop a regulatory and policy framework for holiday homes in line with international best practices and following discussions with stakeholders. The regulations will also allow DCT Abu Dhabi to enforce quality standards to further enhance the visitor experience, while expanding the offerings to match a variety of traveller preferences . The regulations will also level the playing field for the sector as current unlicensed and therefore unregulated units increase pressure on the prices of hotel rooms as they have an unfair advantage over competing hotel offerings.

To maintain the emirate’s reputation as a destination of the highest quality, each unit will only be licensed if standards are met and maintained. The regulations are intended to address four key challenges: Units currently operating without a licence; the effect unlicenced units have on the price of hotel rooms; the challenge of housing availability; and also residential community concerns.

The supply of units will be managed by DCT Abu Dhabi, to ensure that each tourism establishment in the emirate is afforded equal opportunity to attract business – with the new units also being subject to the same tourism fee of 6% as the hotels.

“This resolution provides additional support to the sustainable ecosystem in the tourism sector, and helps enhance economic diversification in Abu Dhabi,” said Saood Al Hosani, Acting Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi. “The Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s decision also ensures fair competition and equal opportunities between different tourism establishments in the emirate through laws and regulations, enabling the provision of stellar services to tourists.