A Comprehensive Guide to Starting an Airbnb or Homestay Business in Dubai

Dubai is regarded as the greatest city getaway location worldwide for layovers or weekend getaways. According to information from the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET), between January and June 2022, the city welcomed almost 7.1 million foreign tourists. Let’s delve into a detailed guide that will walk you through the steps of launching your own Airbnb or homestay business in Dubai, all with the expert support of Bizdaddy.

According to a TripAdvisor survey, people like shorter stays and weekend getaways that give them more time to take advantage of the area’s small size. The tourism industry has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. More than ever, millennials and young people are choosing short getaways and staycations. By 2030, the global market for vacation rentals will surpass $111.2 billion, predicts Precedence Research. In leisure travel, the influence is unlikely to be restricted. You’ll also notice that work-from-home and hybrid work policies are becoming increasingly common in business.

Several individuals have started working away from their traditional operations locations to unwind. These factors have created the ideal climate for entrepreneurs wishing to start businesses in the hotel industry. Hotels and other service-based enterprises used to be the only ones allowed to engage in tourism. But in the modern day, businesses like Airbnb and HomeAway fundamentally changed the rules of the game.

The impending resurgence of tourism can be advantageous for anyone who can establish a location to receive guests at a reasonable price. Look no further if you want to capitalize on this fantastic opportunity by establishing a vacation rental business in Dubai. Let’s delve into a detailed guide that will walk you through the steps of launching your own Airbnb or homestay business in Dubai, all with the expert support of Bizdaddy.

Research and Planning: Laying the Foundation


Begin by immersing yourself in comprehensive research about Dubai’s regulations and requirements for short-term rentals. Understand the legalities, permits, and licenses needed to operate an Airbnb or homestay business in Dubai. Choose a strategic location and property that aligns seamlessly with the city’s rules and regulations.

Business Setup: Guided by Experts

Navigating the intricate business setup path is simpler with Bizdaddy’s seasoned consultants. They are your compass through obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, ensuring your business adheres to Dubai’s hospitality laws. Their expertise safeguards you from common pitfalls and streamlines the setup process.

Licensing Requirements: Operating Within the Legal Realm

Securing a tourism license is the cornerstone of a successful Airbnb or homestay venture. Bizdaddy is your guiding light in acquiring the appropriate license from Dubai’s Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) department. This pivotal step ensures your business operates on solid legal ground, providing a secure environment for your valued guests.

How to register and get a permit with DTCM for Airbnb

Create a ‘Home Owner’ account online at hh.dtcm.gov.ae/holidayhomes, the DTCM Holiday Homes website.

  • To begin the approval procedure, follow the steps exactly, turn in the needed paperwork, and then pay the fees at the Dubai Tourism office.
  • After approval, the owner will receive their username and account as a certified vacation home provider. 
  • The next step is to apply for a permit by clicking “add unit,” filling out the form for the property data, and uploading the necessary paperwork. (This includes a copy of the owner’s passport, an authorization letter, and a recent DEWA bill from the unit), applying and waiting for DTCM or DET(Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai) approval, paying for the permit, and receiving a certificate that must be displayed somewhere on your property.

Unlock Hosting: Property Ownership Not Required

Even if you are not the landlord or lady, you can still rent out your house. To be able to host short-term visitors in Dubai, homeowners, or tenants must still register the property through Dubai Tourism’s Holiday Homes website. The property owner will also need a No Objection Certificate (NOC). 

The following paperwork is necessary for renters who have their landlord’s permission to use the property as a vacation home:

  • Emirates ID card and passport copy
  • Lease with subleasing provision
  • a landlord’s statement of no objections Title deed(using the approved DTCM form)
  • Copy of owner’s passport or Emirates ID
  • A current DEWA bill-not older than 3 months (under the tenant’s or owner’s name)

You cannot rent out one room in your home. By DTCM regulations, the charm of holiday home units lies in their exclusivity. Shared arrangements with owners or other guests are off the table, ensuring a complete haven for your guests.

Individual owners are permitted to register and oversee up to 8 units concurrently. You must register a company and receive the required trade license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) to manage more units. If you are a professional operator (i.e., a corporate body), the Dubai Department of Economic Development will additionally need you to obtain a license. It would help if you were qualified or had expertise in the hotel industry. Holiday homes in Dubai are categorized as “Standard” or “Deluxe,” depending on the amenities offered.

Regulatory Compliance for Airbnb: Keeping Ahead of the Curve

How to meet the legal requirements for DMCC business setup?

Regulations in Dubai are ever-evolving, demanding vigilance. Bizdaddy’s experts keep their finger on the pulse, notifying you promptly of any regulatory changes. Their support ensures that your Airbnb or homestay business operates seamlessly within the bounds of the law. 

The key regulations that aspiring Airbnb hosts in Dubai need to be well-versed with before opening their doors to travelers are-

  • Property Eligibility: The property intended for hosting guests should be eligible for short-term rentals. Generally, properties located in designated areas are allowed for holiday home operations. It’s important to ensure your property meets these location criteria before proceeding.
  • Whole Unit Rental: DTCM regulations stipulate that a holiday home unit should be rented as a whole unit and cannot be shared with the owner or another guest. This ensures the privacy and comfort of both hosts and guests.
  • Health and Safety Standards: Properties should adhere to stringent health and safety standards. This includes proper maintenance, fire safety measures, and essential amenities for guests’ well-being.
  • Registration with DTCM: Hosts must register their holiday home with the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and obtain an official permit. This process involves submitting the necessary documentation and adhering to specific guidelines set by the authority.
  • Guest Registration: Hosts must register their guests with the DTCM’s online system. This ensures transparency and accountability for all guests staying in holiday homes.
  • Tourism Dirham Fee: Hosts are obligated to collect the Tourism Dirham fee from guests, which is a small fee per night that contributes to Dubai’s tourism infrastructure and services.
  • Maximum Occupancy: Each property has a maximum occupancy limit that should not be exceeded. This regulation is in place to maintain the comfort and safety of guests.
  • No Subletting: Subletting the entire property or its part to other individuals is strictly prohibited without proper authorization from the DTCM.
  • Document Compliance: All documentation related to the property, licensing, and guest registration should be kept updated and readily available for inspection.
AspectSteps and Costs
Licensing and RegulationsTourism License: Obtain a Tourism License from DTCM.Costs: Varies, usually between AED 1,000 to AED 10,000.
Property Setup and AmenitiesFurnishing and Decor: Invest in quality furnishings and decor.Costs: Estimate from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000.
Marketing and PromotionPhotography: Hire a professional photographer for appealing photos.Costs: Around AED 500 to AED 1,500.
Guest AmenitiesProvide basic toiletries and essentials for guests.Costs: Estimate around AED 200 to AED 500 per month.
Platform FeesBooking platforms like Airbnb charge service fees per booking.Costs: Typically around 3% of the booking subtotal.
Utilities and MaintenanceCover electricity, water, internet, and other utilities for guests.Costs: Estimate around AED 500 to AED 1,500.
Legal and AdministrativeObtain a Good Conduct Certificate from Dubai Police.Costs: Around AED 200.
Ongoing ExpensesRegular cleaning and maintenance for your property.Costs: Estimate around AED 300 to AED 800 per month.
Total Initial InvestmentEstimate for initial costs: AED 15,000 to AED 50,000 or more (varies based on factors).

Please note that these costs are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances and property specifications. It’s recommended to research thoroughly and consider seeking professional advice from consultants like BizDaddy before starting your Airbnb or homestay business in Dubai.

Financial Management: Navigating the Financial Seas

Setting up a robust financial structure is vital for the longevity of your business. With Bizdaddy’s financial experts, you’ll establish efficient accounting systems, track income and expenses, and adhere to tax obligations. This transparent financial management enhances your business’s credibility and ensures financial well-being.

Marketing and Branding your Airbnb: Standing Out in the Crowd

In Dubai’s competitive hospitality landscape, strategic marketing and branding are non-negotiable. Bizdaddy aids in crafting an enchanting online presence with captivating visuals, and compelling descriptions, and intelligent pricing strategies. This comprehensive approach ensures your property resonates with the right audience, maximizing occupancy rates.

Guest Experience: Crafting Memorable Stays

The heart of any Airbnb or homestay business lies in the guest experience. Bizdaddy guides you in providing exceptional guest experiences, from offering thoughtful amenities to personalizing your stay. A positive guest experience translates to rave reviews, returning guests, and an enviable reputation.

Legal and Compliance Support: Navigating Challenges

group of women sitting on chairs

Should any legal hurdles arise, Bizdaddy’s legal team is your fortress. From dispute resolution to navigating regulatory complexities, their support ensures that your business sails through challenges unscathed.

Are you ready to turn your property into a flourishing Airbnb or homestay business? With Bizdaddy’s unwavering support, you can confidently embark on this exciting journey, offering unmatched hospitality to visitors from across the globe. 

Let’s transform your dream into reality – get in touch with us today and unlock the potential of Dubai’s hospitality scene.