UAE – The popularity of short-term rentals is skyrocketing, especially due to post-Covid travel preferences, according to industry experts.
“The trend of short-term rentals and staycations (among visitors) has grown rapidly over the past two years, with companies offering flexible working hours and work-from-home models,” said Raquel Lopez, vice-president. President of Sales and Marketing GCC at Barceló Hotel. Band. “Some travelers, mostly large families or a group of friends, prefer short-term rentals in serviced apartments where they can enjoy the convenience of a fully equipped home.”
For others, the reason for choosing short-term rentals is monetary according to Unique Properties partner Behnam Eghtedari. “If a large family is traveling, including the wife, parents, children and nannies, a hotel is not very viable. If they hire a short-term rental, they can house everyone at a substantial discount. Additionally, they can shop and cook at home whenever possible. This translates into more savings.
Short-term rentals refer to stays of guests in a dwelling unit or serviced apartment for less than 30 days, whether they are traveling to their destination for business, leisure or both.
According to Behnam Eghtedari, most of those who prefer to stay in short-term rentals in the UAE come from European countries or Russia. The safety and security offered by the Emirates also contributes to its popularity among visitors.
“In an unstable country, people would choose to stay in reputable hotels or resorts to avoid any kind of danger or scam,” he said. “In a place as safe as Dubai, people have the freedom to choose the type of property they want.”
According to Raquel Lopez, the nationalities of the people who come and their preferences depend on various factors. “The dynamic is different depending on the season,” she said. “We have a very strong presence in European markets. This is reflected in short term rentals. During the summer season, regional markets are very active, including residents of the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
The trend towards short-term rentals is more common among young couples than among families. “That’s why 1BHK studios and apartments have the highest demand,” Behnam Eghtedari said.
These customers also prefer value-added options. “Couples and solo travelers opt for other add-ons,” Raquel Lopez said. “Of course, it depends on the length of stay and the profile of the customers. However, we have noticed that families staying with us for a long period prefer the ‘just stay’ option.
With this trend looking to be here to stay, more landlords are turning their properties into short-term rentals rather than renting them out to tenants.
“Short-term rentals have become a very lucrative business, especially in tourist destinations like Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina,” Behnam Eghtedari said. “The rental companies take care of everything involved.”
However, he cautioned that this is no cakewalk for owners. “These properties must compete with the luxury and amenities offered by 4 or 5 star hotels and resorts,” he said.
“Owners must therefore carefully organize their services. There are customers who want different types of equipment. As some may want to rent a car, go on a cruise or take advantage of a limo. Owners need to partner with various vendors to provide options so they can keep good reviews.
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