Abu Dhabi is preparing to launch new regulations on organising holiday homes as demand for alternatives to hotels and hotel apartments continues to grow.
According to the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the new rules will ensure all properties available to holiday-makers, which will be available on all international online platforms, are licenced and meet Abu Dhabi's service standards.
The regulations will also level the playing field for the sector as current unlicenced and therefore unregulated units increase pressure on the prices of hotel rooms as they have an unfair advantage over competing hotel offerings, the regulator DCT Abu Dhabi said in a statement on Saturday.
The holiday homes will also be subject to the same tourism fee of 6 percent as the hotels.
Each unit will only be licenced 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.
As per the decision from the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the new regulations will ensure governance of business activity by imposing related fines on unlicenced units, and on units operating without meeting minimum quality standards or service guidelines.
"This resolution provides additional support to the sustainable ecosystem in the tourism sector, and helps enhance economic diversification in Abu Dhabi. The Executive Council's decision also ensures fair competition and equal opportunities between different tourism establishments in the emirate," said Saood Al Hosani, acting under-secretary of DCT Abu Dhabi.
"The regulations will enable us to register all these units in one system, while providing a database for all licensed vacation homes in Abu Dhabi," Al Hosani added.
"We believe that this will help in attracting a diverse segment of visitors to the emirate, and will enable owners of unique and attractive accommodation offerings to market their units."
DCT Abu Dhabi is aiming to fully launch the licensing portal in the upcoming months.
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