How to rent out a UAE property on Airbnb

How to rent out a UAE property on Airbnb

- Jade Wong

How to earn money renting out your UAE home on Airbnb

The Airbnb Success Story

In little over a decade, Airbnb has gone from a couple of students renting out their living room with three airbeds for a bit of extra cash, to a $31 billion dollar industry with 5.6 million listings in over 100,000 cities worldwide. It has pioneered the sharing economy, revolutionised the travel industry and offered homeowners around the globe a simple way to make a largely passive income.

How much money can I make from hosting on Airbnb?

The average Airbnb host in Dubai earns around $2,400 a year. However, this can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the size of property, the location, numbers of visitors to the area, access to other amenities, seasonality, and occupancy levels. Most current listings are located in areas such as Downtown, Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. However, growth is now being seen in other areas such as Jumeirah Village Circle, The Greens, Tecom and Business Bay.

For a more accurate estimate of potential earnings, there is an Airbnb revenue calculator online. AirDNA is a great resource to use to find out the revenue potential of hosting your property on Airbnb and has data from numerous sources such as market trend reports, case studies, industry news and customer stories.

Can I legally rent out my property Airbnb in the UAE?

Yes, in many Emirates it is possible to rent out your property on Airbnb. Authorities in the UAE are continually striving to find new ways to attract further tourism to the Emirates and Airbnb hosting is a logical way to expand the market offering.

In Dubai, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) reached an agreement with Airbnb in 2016, authorities in Ras Al Khaimah followed shortly after in 2018, and this year Abu Dhabi became the third emirate to be added to the list.

Who regulates Airbnb hosting in the UAE?

If you intend to rent your property in Dubai, you will be required to register with the DTCM to obtain the permit necessary to list your property on Airbnb. In Ras Al Khaimah, the governing body is the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and in Abu Dhabi you can obtain your permit from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.

What is the process for obtaining the permit?

The process may differ slightly in each of the emirates. In Dubai, the process is as follows:

1. Trade name reservation

2. Initial approval

3. Issuance of licence

4. Registration on the DTCM system

5. Application for permit and classification certificate

6. Issuance of permit and classification certificate

7. Pay Tourism Dirham and begin operating

How to register on the DTCM’s Holiday Home System

To register as a license in the DTCM Holiday Home system, you will require a copy of your valid Holiday Home company or establishment licence. The process can be carried out by logging into the Holiday Home system, completing all required information and attaching the requested documents. If the application is approved a payment link will be sent. Once payment is approved the application will be approved.

Permit Issuance

Each holiday home that you intend to rent on Airbnb will require its own permit, which is issued by the DTCM. The required documents for the permit are as follows:

• Copy of property owner’s passport or Emirates ID (EID) (If the property is owned by a company, you will be required to provide the company licence or articles of association in addition to the passport/EID)

• Property title deed

• If not the owner, authorisation from the owner to use the property

• A DEWA bill (no more than three months old) in the name of the owner or licensee

How do I list my property on Airbnb?

Setting up a listing on the site is quick and easy. It should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.

To get started, visit Airbnb and select the “become a host option” in the top right-hand corner of the page and follow all the steps, answering questions about the property and its amenities. Next, upload a minimum of five photos and create a name for your property. Add any additional selling points, such as whether the area is peaceful, or location to amenities/nightlife or whether the property is suitable for families, pet-friendly etc. After creating a description, select a price, with the help of Airbnb’s recommendations. Airbnb gives you the option to offer a 20 per cent discount to your first three guests to give your listing the chance to gain some traction. Once that is all complete, the final step is to review the listing to check that you are happy with it then you can publish it and begin operating.


How many properties can I rent out?

Individual owners can only apply for permits to rent out a maximum of eight properties. If you plan to host more than eight units, you must obtain a business licence or alternatively pass the additional properties on to an agency that is licensed to provide leasing services.

What is Tourism Dirham?

Tourism Dirham is a fee levied by the DTCM on guests staying in hotels and apartment or other properties being used for paying guests. As a host on Airbnb, you will be required to pay this fee. It is calculated on a per night basis and is AED 15 per bedroom (if your property is classified as Deluxe) or AED 10 (if your property is classified as Standard).

Do I have to declare VAT?

If you make more than AED375,000 per year, you will be required to register and charge VAT on your service. You can also voluntarily declare VAT once your earnings exceed AED 187,500.

What are Airbnb’s fees?

Airbnb charges a fee of 3% of the booking subtotal, which comprises the nightly rate plus your cleaning fee. Guests generally pay a service fee of approximately 14% of the booking subtotal.

How can PRO Partner Group help?

At PRO Partner Group, we have years of experience helping our clients with company incorporation and other investment ventures. We have direct contact with government departments throughout the UAE and can facilitate all the procedures and paperwork on your behalf.

If you need guidance on renting out a property in the UAE or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or Saudi Arabia then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

Reach out to Jade Wong for more information

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