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Responsible Hosting in Dubai

We encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. All hosts are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with local legislation and regulation. Hosting offers rich experiences, but it comes with a certain level of commitment.

Here are some ways you can be a responsible host.

.: Safety

Emergency Procedures

Contact Info:

Indicate local emergency numbers and the nearest hospital. Provide a clear emergency contact number for yourself, as well as backup, for easy guest reference in a prominent position in your property. Also make clear how you should be contacted if the guest has questions or issues arise. The Second Edition of the Dubai Holiday Home Rental Regulations (“Regulations”) require hosts to provide a 24/7 help line for assisting guests and a notice of the procedures to be followed in an emergency. This notice of emergency numbers and procedures and host contact details must be provided in both Arabic and English. The class of your holiday home (“Standard”) or (“Deluxe”) should also appear on the notice.

Supplies:

The Regulations also require hosts to make a first aid kit easily available.

Fire Prevention:

We are providing the links and suggestions below to get you started. We need to be clear: this information is not legal advice – it is only a starting point for your research. We have not independently verified the links provided, so even when a website or guide is provided by a government agency, you should confirm its accuracy.

You are obliged to comply with Dubai fire safety laws and regulations. You should also provide fire safety equipment including fire extinguisher, fire blanket, gloves and a torch (with batteries).

The Directorate General of Dubai Civil Defence has provided a Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice in Dubai, which you can access on the Dubai Civil Defence website homepage. Under the Regulations, you may only let your property if your building complies with Dubai Civil Defence standards, and your property must therefore comply with the Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice and with any other rules and regulations issued by the authority. You should regularly check the Directorate General of Dubai Civil Defence website for updates and new regulations.

Your local fire service is responsible for enforcing the fire safety laws and in some cases Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Municipality and/or Dubai Tourism (DTCM) may want to inspect your property to make sure that it is safe for your guests.

Exits:

Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route, and post a map in your home.

Minimise Hazards

Privacy:

Always be mindful of your guests’ privacy. Fully disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment at or around your listing. Make sure you are aware of and comply with applicable laws and regulations.

Access:

Go through your home to identify any areas where guests might trip or fall and either remove the hazard or mark clearly. Fix any exposed wires. Ensure stairs and balconies are safe and have railings. Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests.

Child-Proofing:

Ensure your home is safe for children, or else notify guests of potential hazards. If you have a pool, remind your guests that children should be supervised at all times when using the swimming pool. Ensure that guests know how to prevent young children from accessing the balcony and/or other outdoor areas if these are potentially hazardous.

Climate:

Ensure your home is properly ventilated and that temperature control is clearly marked and functional. Ensure guests are clear about how to safely use the air-conditioning system. If you have gas appliances, you should make sure you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector, that appliances are serviced regularly, and that you are following any gas safety regulations that apply to your home.

.: Neighbours

How can I be mindful of my neighbours?

Building Rules:

Ensure you relay your building’s common area and Owners’ Association rules to your guest. You may want to notify your neighbours that you will have guests, and should remind guests not to bother your neighbours (e.g., don’t knock on their door or buzz them to let you in).

Smoking:

If you don’t allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind guests. If you do allow smoking, ensure you have ashtrays available in designated areas.

Parking:

Ensure you relay parking rules for your building and neighbourhood to your guest prior to arrival as required under the Regulations. This is intended to help ensure minimum disturbance to your neighbours and other residents.

Noise:

Remind guests about keeping noise down. You may want to consider whether you allow babies or pets. Develop a policy about guests inviting other people over. The Regulations provide that the number of guests should not conflict with residential amenity and that you should pay due regard to your neighbours. Your property is intended primarily for accommodation and not for entertainment and social functions. If you wish to allow guests to hold a function at your property, ensure that the relevant local authorities also give prior approval for this. In particular, you should note that profit-generating functions could breach Dubai’s strict licensing requirements for commercial activities. Any gathering, celebration or entertainment permitted at your property should not inconvenience other residents and should be in accordance with local regulations. It is also a good idea to inform your guests of Dubai’s strict alcohol laws which require individuals to have a license if they wish to purchase and/or consume alcohol outside of designated hotel bars and restaurants.

Pets:

If you allow pets, ensure guests are educated about things like local parks and local customs (e.g., cleaning up after your dog). Have a backup plan in case a guest’s pet upsets the neighbours (such as the number of a nearby pet hotel). You should also check your lease or other rules affecting your building in case they contain restrictions on pets.

House Rules:

To avoid surprises, you may want to include the information covered above in your House Rules in your ShortBooking listing profile. You are required to ensure that the House Rules are consistent with the Decree Concerning the Regulation of Holiday Homes Rental Market in the Emirate of Dubai (the “Decree”), the Executive Council Resolution No. 49 of 2014 Approving Holiday Home Related Fees and Fines (the “Resolution”) and the Regulations and are not contrary to any Dubai law. You are encouraged under the Regulations to provide a Guest & Visitor Information Folder to your guests in order to communicate the House Rules and promote neighbourly behaviour.

Terms and Conditions:

Hosts must ensure that they operate their Holiday Home in line with the Terms and Conditions set out in the Regulations and in accordance with Dubai law.

.: Important Things To Check

When deciding whether to become a Short Booking host, it’s important for you to understand the laws and regulations that apply in your town or city, and your building.

Some of the laws that may apply to you are complicated. We are providing the links and suggestions below to get you started. To be clear: this is not legal advice – it is only a starting point for your research. We have not independently verified the links provided, so even when a website or guide is provided by a government agency, you should confirm its accuracy. If you have questions, you should contact the appropriate government department, Dubai Municipality, DTCM or other agency directly, or get a local legal advisor or accountant to advise you.

Hosting in Dubai:

Holiday rentals in Dubai are subject to the Dubai Holiday Home Rental Regulations (the “Regulations”). You should familiarize yourself with the Regulations and especially with Tables 1 and 2 which list the requirements for your Holiday Home to meet the standard acceptable to DTCM.

As an individual owner you should register your property as a Holiday Home with DTCM online. You will be required to submit your personal details, copy of Emirates ID card, passport copy, title deed copy and, if applicable, landlord’s No Objection Certificate. DTCM will charge an annual registration fee. You should check the website for the most up to date information.

If you are a professional operator (i.e. a corporate entity) then you will also need to be licensed by the Dubai Department of Economic Development. You would be expected to have qualifications or experience in hospitality.

In Dubai Holiday Homes are classified as “Standard” or “Deluxe” based on the facilities provided. You should choose the appropriate classification for your property according to the criteria in the Regulations.

Taxes:

Currently there are no personal taxes in Dubai and in general terms there are no corporate taxes under Dubai law (with limited exceptions for the energy and banking industries). The tax position is subject to change at any time. You should monitor the situation and take professional advice if needed.

Tourism Dirham:

You are responsible for collecting the Tourism Dirham (and any other applicable fees) from your guests and paying this to DTCM. The current fees are AED 15 per night for each occupied Deluxe bedroom and AED 10 per night for each occupied Standard bedroom. The Tourism Dirham fee should be clearly shown as a separate charge on every invoice or receipt issued to a guest. When you register your Holiday Home with DTCM you will be able to generate a month end report of the fees required for your Holiday Home on the website here.

Contracts:

Check any leases, contracts or regulations relating to your building to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting – or any other restriction against hosting. Read your lease agreement and check with your landlord and mortgage lender if applicable. If you are a tenant then you should apply for a No Objection Certificate from your landlord.

You may consider adding a rider to your tenancy or mortgage agreement that addresses the concerns of these parties and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of all parties.

Mortgage:

If your property has a mortgage (or any form of loan secured against it) you should check that there is no prohibition against subletting, or any other restrictions against hosting.

Flatmates:

If you have flatmates, consider a flatmate agreement in writing which outlines things like how often you plan to host, how you’ll ensure guests follow House Rules, and even whether you’ll share revenue if that makes sense for you. You should note that the Decree requires your Holiday Home to be hired out as an “integral unit” rather than partially as separate rooms or beds. If you are in any doubt as to whether your Property is an “integral unit” you should first check with the DTCM.

Neighbours:

Consider whether you should notify your neighbours about your plans to host, along with your plan for how to make sure your guests are not disruptive.

Insurance

What insurance should I get to cover my home?

Host Guarantee:

Short Booking offers you our Host Guarantee, but please note this does not take the place of homeowners or renters insurance and does not provide liability coverage.

 

Basic Coverage:

Review your renters or homeowners policy with your insurance carrier to make sure you have adequate coverage.

Liability:

The Regulations require you to have adequate comprehensive landlords’ and public liability coverage as well as property protection.

 What Are Hosting Standards?

These standards can help you earn great reviews for providing excellent and dependable hospitality. You can see how you’re doing by checking ratings and feedback from your guests.

When you go to your dashboard, you’ll see the ratings you’ve received for communicationcheck-inaccuracycleanliness, and overall experience. You’ll also see your response rate on your dashboard. To see your commitment to reservations, check the Superhost section of your dashboard. And by frequently checking your calendar, you can maintain updated availability.

 

 

Updated Availability

You should always feel confident that you’re able to host a reservation. Keeping your calendar and listing information updated increases the likelihood of receiving reservation requests you can accommodate.

  • Update your calendar to reflect your availability so that you don’t receive reservation requests for dates when you’re unavailable
  • You can use your availability settingsto block preparation time between bookings, or to prevent requests for same-day or distant reservations
  • If you set a minimum or maximum stay, you’ll only receive requests for reservations that match your preferences

Travelers looking for a place to stay tell us that getting rejected can be discouraging, so if you decline an excess number of reservation requests, your listing may be temporarily deactivated.

 

Communication

Every time a guest reaches out—whether you have a reservation with them or not—responding quickly shows that you’re an attentive and considerate host.

Timely responses

How frequently and quickly you respond to reservation requests and booking inquiries is measured by your response rate.

  • Respond to booking inquiries and reservation requests within 24 hours to maintain your response rate
  • If your listing isn’t available or a traveler can’t comply with the House Rules you set, be sure to decline the reservation request promptly

Supporting your guests

Whether or not you’re staying in the space with your guests, it’s important to remain available throughout their stay. Your guests will have the opportunity to rate the clarity and consistency of your communication. The average of the ratings you receive appears on your listing page.

  • If you confirm a reservation and something about your listing changes, tell your guest in advance
  • If you won’t be greeting your guests when they arrive, you can send them a message at their check-in time to make sure everything went smoothly
  • If you won’t be in the area during their stay, you can give your guests a local point of contact

If your response rate gets too low, your search placement may be impacted and you may face certain penalties, including having your listing temporarily deactivated. This ensures that travelers aren’t at risk of contacting you and being ignored.

 

Commitment Rate

Commitment to Reservations

When you confirm you’ll host someone, they’re trusting you to take care of their needs. Whether it’s a family vacation or a business trip, an unexpected change in accommodations can be very disruptive.

If the unexpected happens and you can’t avoid cancelling a confirmed booking, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • As soon as you know that you have to cancel, let your guest know right away. This will give them as much time as possible to find new accommodations.
  • Cancel the reservationon ShortBooking to initiate the refund process.
  • If you know other hosts in your area, consider asking them if they can accommodate the guest’s trip and offer to make an introduction.
  • When there is an extenuating circumstanceor a safety concern, ShortBooking may make an exception to host cancellation penalties.

We want travelers who book on ShortBooking to feel confident in their plans, so we take cancellations seriously. You can be subject to penalties—including financial penalties—if you cancel a confirmed booking.

 

Check-In

Your guests will be invited to rate their check-in experience at the end of their stay, so it’s an opportunity to devote extra care to making them comfortable. Keep in mind your guests may be tired from traveling, so it’s important to put them at ease with a clear and simple check-in process.

  • Communicate your check-in procedure in advance and ensure that you’re able to follow through with it
  • Make sure your guests know how to contact you if they have a travel delay or last-minute question
  • Provide your guests with detailed directions so they can get to your listing, and save time by putting it all in your House Manual
  • Let your guests know if you’ll greet them at the door or if they should plan on getting the key from a lockbox or neighbor

 

 

Accuracy

We hear from hosts and guests that sharing clear expectations before a trip can contribute to a better experience for everyone. As a host, you can help travelers decide if your space is a good fit for their needs by providing detailed information about what your listing has to offer.

Your guests will have the opportunity to rate the accuracy of the information you provide. Creating a detailed profile and listing page will attract guests who match your hosting style and help you earn great ratings.

Your listing information

  • Use a variety of high-quality photoswith captions and write a detailed description of the space.
  • Provide House Rulesthat address situations that will matter to your guests. If you don’t want them bringing other people into the space, tell them in advance. If you don’t want them smoking in your listing, say so.
  • Let guests know if there are parts of the listing that are off-limits, like a shared backyard or the attic.
  • Be honest about unexpected factors that will impact your guests’ stay. If your neighbors just started a noisy construction project, your guests deserve to know. If you have to climb 8 flights of stairs to get to your listing, add that detail. If you don’t have reliable hot water, say so.

Your amenities

One of the things that makes your listing fantastic is the set of amenities that make it extra comfortable, perfect for families, or easy to work from.

  • List all the amenitiesyou offer and ensure each one is available and operational
  • Provide House Rulesthat address situations that will matter to your guests. If you don’t want them bringing other people into the space, tell them in advance. If you don’t want them smoking in your listing, say so.

Your price

A very high price may lead travelers to assume your listing is extra luxurious—they shouldn’t be expecting a castle when they arrive at a cottage.

If you frequently receive low ratings on the accuracy of the information you provide, you may face penalties. We want travelers to trust that the space they book is the space they’ll find when they arrive.

 

Cleanliness

A clean and tidy listing will always look its best and most inviting. Your guests can rate the cleanliness of your listing and the average of your ratings appears on your listing page.

It’s important to give yourself enough time to clean, particularly when you have back-to-back bookings.

  • Clean every room your guests can use during their stay, especially the bathroom and kitchen
  • If you provide towels and sheets they should be clean
  • You can charge a cleaning feeand use the extra money to pay for cleaning supplies or hire a professional cleaning service
  • Leave cleaning supplies in your space, so your guests can take care of spills and accidental messes

If you consistently receive low cleanliness ratings, you may be subject to penalties. A clean space is something travelers expect.

 

Overall Experience

Your guests will have the opportunity to rate their overall experience staying at your listing. The average of the overall experience ratings you receive will appear on your listing page. It also appears when a traveler searches for a place to stay and sees the listings that match their search criteria. So having a high overall rating is a great way to stand out in search results.

  • Remember that many of your guests will be far from home, so try to anticipate what they’ll want, what they’ll find confusing, and how you can offer help and guidance.
  • Personalize each guest’s experience to suit their travel needs and personality—small gestures can leave big, lasting impressions.
  • Ask for feedback from your guests so they can help you find areas where you can improve. They can tell you face to face, or leave private feedback for you when they submit their ratings.

Value

You have control over how you price your listing, but it’s important to set a price that balances expectations with what your listing has to offer. Guests also have the chance to rate the value of your listing and the average of your ratings appears on your listing page.

  • You can adjust your prices to match seasonal trends
  • If you’re a first-time host, consider lowering your rate so that you can get your first few bookings and gain some experience

If you consistently receive low overall experience ratings, you may be subject to penalties. If your ratings continue to reflect that you’re struggling to meet guest expectations, your listing may be removed from the platform.