Dubai real estate: short-term rentals see increased demand for Expo 2020 and return of air travel

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Reem Al Khatib, managing director of the United Arab Emirates at GuestReady, called the fourth quarter of 2021 a good quarter for the company, which recorded more than 80% occupancy. In the first quarter of 2021, it was even more impressive 90 to 95%. She added that “the occupancy rate has increased and prices have also recovered. Rates continue to rise; we’re seeing them quickly revert to pre-COVID rates. This month’s rates were the highest in four years.

MARKET TRENDS

Al Khatib said there are over 10,000 active listings in Dubai in the short-term rental market; The Dubai Marina and downtown have the most properties. “In addition to locals and tourists, this year we saw a new category of travelers: digital nomads, [who] we think they’re here to stay.

He continued: “Dubai [is the] second most popular destination in the world for digital nomads, who prefer to live [at] and work remotely from home. UAE residents switch from annual rental contracts to short-term rentals to take advantage of the flexibility. One popular property is a two-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina with sea views; this generates a night rate of 600 dirhams in low season and 1200 dirhams in high season.

Citing information on Airbnb’s request for the United Arab Emirates, Shine Sunny, co-founder and CEO of Raine & Horne Holiday Homes, said nights booked by guests are currently 1.91 times the pre-COVID numbers of 2019. . “About 47% of stays are for seven nights or more, 64% of bookings were from international guests, 89% of bookings were for an entire house / apartment, among the top trends highlighted.

According to Sunny, customers are now spending more on Airbnb than before COVID. Back then, he said, customers expected less of traditional hotel-style accommodation than they did; if a guest arrived and found a few broken items or an out-of-date location, they were ignored. Now, however, the expectation is at the level of a 5-star hotel, with immaculate interiors. “We expect a massive holiday boom for the peak months of December to February,” he added.

Mahtani has seen the demand for tourists traveling on vacation, mainly from Eastern Europe, Poland, Ukraine, etc. The other tenants are families and business owners who have moved to the United Arab Emirates and are currently looking to buy or rent housing, he said. .

“We operate and serve the larger and luxury market segment and have found that 4 to 5 bedroom properties are currently the best performing, [with] a lot of demand for penthouses with great views or private pools. Our penthouses are rented from 5,000 dirhams to 20,000 dirhams per night.

“Our most expensive unit recently rented was a downtown penthouse, rented to a Champions League footballer who spent well over $ 100,000 for two weeks,” he added.

POPULAR COMMUNITIES

Mark Kennedy, Co-Founder and CEO of Kennedy Towers, said Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai remain the most popular residential communities, with continued demand from business travelers and residents looking for more flexible and convenient accommodation. “We have seen that one bedroom apartments and studios continue to have the highest occupancy rates. [There is] increased demand for four bedroom villas that residents or business travelers rent on a flexible basis, ”he said.

Anna Skigin, co-founder of Frank Porter, said people are renting for longer stays and demanding high-speed Wi-Fi and workspaces due to the transition to working from home. “We are seeing growth in many new places, not just in Dubai Marina [and] Palm Jumeirah, but even in Sports City, JVC, Business Bay and a lot of interest around the Expo site.

Kennedy said the Dubai Expo sparked massive requests for accommodation for extended stays. “We have worked with several country pavilions to secure multiple units in the same buildings for their employees. The larger units were also in high demand during the Expo period.

“Exhibit attendees sought extended stays throughout the event period, with increased demand seen in more southerly communities like Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers due to their proximity to the exhibition site, ”Kennedy added. “We have increased our inventory by 25% this year to meet increased demand. “

(Report by Hina Navin, edited by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2021

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