La Capitale Real Estate

New Property Law

No developer can impose rules on holiday homes in Dubai

Dubai: No developer or owners association (OA) in Dubai can bar licensed holiday home operators from their buildings or communities.

This has been made explicitly clear by a new directive issued by Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in its role as the sole licensing authority for holiday homes.

The directive also applies to facility management firms that operate on behalf of developers or owners associations in the upkeep of the buildings.


With this step, DTCM has removed much of the uncertainty that had been prevailing in the local holiday home space over developer rights and the restrictions that could be placed on businesses handling short-stays.

“Dubai citizens, thousands of (holiday home) landlords, tourist-oriented businesses, and also all foreign investors in Dubai have once again been assured that Dubai is a safe harbour with a clearly defined legal framework,” said an industry source.

“And that when needed, the Dubai authorities are efficient in resolving sudden challenges. A special prize in this case belongs to DTCM.”

What set this off

In September, Emaar issued a letter calling on all holiday home businesses to cease their activities in the Downtown — one of Dubai’s prime destinations for short-stays, especially in the period leading up to the New Year festivities.

These businesses were then given a short timeframe to comply.

Holiday home operators then took up the issue with DTCM and higher authorities, who thereupon intervened and said Emaar cannot enforce such a ban.

The latest set of directives from DTCM effectively seals the issue, removing much of the uncertainty for the industry.

“The newly, officially-published regulation concludes the current issue at Dubai Downtown, where Emaar Community Management is stopping holiday home guests unless operators sign the terms and conditions developed by ECM,” the source added.

The OA mention

It’s notable that DTCM has also included OAs in its directive.

There have been some instances in the recent past where owners associations have opposed the letting out of units in these buildings to short-stay guests.

The opposition had to do with the fact that these guests were using common facilities such as the pool and gym.

It also had to do with the social factor of having to deal with a high turnover of newcomers as guests, while the rest of the building had apartment owners or long-term tenants.

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