How to Start A Vacation Home Rental Business in Dubai, UAE


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While Dubai has fared better than many countries during the coronavirus pandemic, there is no question that it has had an impact. Particularly on visitor numbers.

As global vaccination programmes continue at pace, this looks set to change. And we can be hopeful that the year ahead will see a return to the norm for the emirate’s tourism industry.

Anywhere approaching recent visitor numbers of 15m+ per year will translate into big business for anyone providing accommodation in Dubai. And while this was once a market reserved for large hoteliers, this is no longer the case.

The rise of sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway has empowered anyone with the means to join the vacation home rental industry. And in a travel and trade hotspot like Dubai, the potential returns can be rewarding.

Like any other business here in the UAE, renting vacation properties requires a license. But with the help of a trusted company setup agent, getting one can be fast and affordable.

What are the benefits of starting a vacation home rental business in Dubai?

When you start a business in Dubai, you immediately benefit from the emirate’s incredibly low tax regime – 0% on all personal and corporate income. If you set up in a free zone, you can also take advantage of zero currency restrictions and the ability to repatriate all capital and profits.

When you join Dubai’s tourism industry, there are a host of other benefits too. Dubai is one of the most popular destinations in the world for both leisure and business travellers. And with travel restrictions likely to be lifted in the year ahead, and the rearranged Expo 2020 set to bring 20m+ visitors to our shores, there’s never been a better time to get involved.

Five steps to start a vacation home rental business in Dubai

Dubai’s company formation process has been designed for ease, speed, and affordability. But like any corporate or legal process, it does require a level of expertise and local knowledge. That’s why the first step in starting any business out here is to partner with a company setup agent.

At Set Hub, we can walk you through the entire process, liaising with all authorities and managing applications on your behalf.

We can help with the following steps:

Step 1: Outline your business activities

When starting a UAE business, it’s vital that you clearly outline your business activities. Failure to do so can cause issues further down the line and carrying out unlicensed activities can lead to fines or even license revocation.

The activity required in this instance is Vacation Homes Rental which can be undertaken with a tourism license. This allows you to rent property to vacationers on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis.

Step 2: Choosing your company name

The next step is equally important: choosing a company name. There are a few key things to keep in mind at this stage – many that would not apply anywhere else in the world.

Be aware that you must abide by a strict set of naming conventions. In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting. You must also check that your chosen name is available to register.

Step 3: Applying for your holiday homes trade license in Dubai

To become licensed to rent out holiday accommodation in the UAE, you’ll first need to apply for your trade license. Known as a tourism license, or sometimes as the holiday homes trade license, it is obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

When applying for this license, you will be required to submit:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • Two colour passport size photos
  • Details of your property


DTCM holiday homes license 

You’ll also need a DTCM holiday homes license or permit to offer vacation home rental in Dubai. This is an approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Only when you have received your trade license and the official DTCM approval are you permitted to offer your property for rent.

Step 4: Making your visa applications   

Finally, you will require a UAE visa to run a holiday homes business in Dubai.

As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others for their visas too. This could be a spouse, parent or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.

Dubai holiday home rental regulations

Dubai’s holiday home market has grown substantially in recent years, with rentals now accounting for 2% of Dubai’s total households. To manage this growing market and ensure the highest transparency and fairness, Dubai’s rulers have introduced a comprehensive classification and verification process.

As a result, all DTCM licensed properties must be registered and inspected regularly to ensure they comply will all standards. You will also receive an official certificate of registration from the DTCM which must be displayed within your rental property.

Get your holiday homes trade license in Dubai with Set Hub                       

Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a vacation home rental business in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as Set Hub when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visa applications required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.