Short-term rentals in Dubai Marina

Short-term rentals in Dubai Marina
Short-term rentals in Dubai Marina are popular among tourists and business professionals who visit the emirate for a few days or months at a time. Unlike long-term rentals, short-term rentals yield higher profits, involve less paperwork, and offer the flexibility to adjust prices based on the season or demand.
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How to start a short-term rental?

To begin, you need to obtain permission for renting out your property from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DET) in Dubai. Any property rented for short-term stays is referred to as a holiday home, and must be fully furnished and equipped with all the necessary amenities, including internet, water and electricity.
Importantly! For short-term rentals, suitable property types include studios, apartments, penthouses, villas, and townhouses, provided that they are located within gated communities and are rented out in their entirety, not partially.
To obtain a permit, you need to visit the official DET website, navigate to the Holiday Homes section and register as an owner. You will need to upload a copy of your Emirates ID or passport and provide the required information. Subsequently, you will receive an email containing a link to a page where you can pay the DET application fee of AED 1,520 (USD 413). The permit must be renewed annually, which means you will not be charged the application fee again.

After doing this, within the Holiday Homes section, you can proceed to the New Holiday Homes Permit Issuance and register the property that you intend to rent out. You will be required to upload a title deed, a copy of your Emirates ID or passport, a DEWA account number, and your most recent electricity and water bill. The permit price depends on the number of bedrooms:

  • Studio or one-bedroom apartment — AED 370 (USD 101)
  • Two-bedroom apartment — AED 670 (USD 182)
  • Three-bedroom properties are AED 970 (USD 264)
  • Residences with four bedrooms or more — AED 1,270 (USD 346)
The rental permit will be approved within one business day.
Importantly! As an owner, you can obtain a permit from the DET for a maximum of eight properties. If you need to register more than eight, then you will have to apply as a professional operator and obtain a trade licence.
Once everything is done and paid for, you can post your listings on popular short-term rental sites so that potential tenants can see what you have to offer.
Importantly! DET recommends taking out insurance for real estate so that it covers the risks associated with guests, housing and the complex as a whole.
There is no specific template for a short-term rental agreement between a landlord and a guest, but the fulfilment of obligations under each contract is controlled by the Department of Tourism and Commercial Marketing (DTCM), which is a division of DET. All guests who rent from you must be entered into the DTCM system. You simply go to the DTCM website, fill out the form, and attach a copy of your guest's passport or other ID.

What is a Tourist Dirham?

This is a tax that is levied in the Emirates on everyone who stays in hotels or holiday homes. Owners who are engaged in short-term rentals receive a "tourist dirham" from their guests in favour of the Dubai Ministry of Economy and Tourism (DET). The tax is paid by guests immediately upon check-in as one payment, and is separate from the cost of staying in the property.

The Tourist Dirham is calculated depending on:

  • The number of nights stayed and rooms being used by the guest(s)
  • Real estate classification
The property is either classified as Standard or Luxury. When applying to rent out your short-term property rental on the official DET website, depending on your specified amenities, your property will be assigned to one of these categories.

The owner pays the Tourist Dirham received from the tenants on the 15th day of each month to the DET account. For Standard properties, the payment is AED 10 (USD 2.7) per night and per room, and for Suite properties, this is AED 15 (USD 4).
Importantly! For stays longer than 30 days, the Tourist Dirham will not be charged.

How much can you earn?

As of November 2023, the average weekly rental price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina is AED 4K (USD 1.1K), and for a month, this can reach AED 12K (USD 3.3K). Despite the fact that the active tourist season in Dubai lasts from October to March, Dubai Marina is in high demand all year round.

Many business professionals and freelancers stay in the resort area to combine business and leisure. If you rent out your home for a short period of time for 10-12 months continuously, your income will range from AED 120K (USD 33K) to AED 144K (USD 39K). For comparison, for long-term rentals, the contract is concluded for at least one year, and the average price for a furnished one-bedroom apartment is AED 110K (USD 30K).

But here you need to take into account the payment for utilities. For short-term rentals, utilities are paid by the landlord, and for long-term rentals, they're by the tenant. The average bill for water, electricity, gas, garbage collection and internet for a family of two is about AED 1,000 (USD 275) per month.

As a result, the annual income from a short-term rental of a 1-bedroom apartment, including utility bills, is from AED 110K (USD 30K) to AED 132K (USD 36K). That's AED 10K (USD 3K) — AED 23K (USD 6K) more than a long-term lease.
Importantly! For short-term rentals, the owner can change the price of the property depending on the season. Which means that during the peak season months, the profit will be even higher.
Short-term rentals can give you certain benefits and conveniences, as you are not limited by a long-term contract, and you can independently regulate the duration of renting out the property. You also don't ever have to deal with disputes with tenants, as the rental only lasts for a short period. Short-term rental income can generate between AED 10K (USD 3K) to AED 23K (USD 6K) more than long-term rentals, and if you have more than one property, then the profit will be significantly higher.

But with short-term rentals, you will need your constant involvement; from caring for and cleaning your property, to contacting your guests and registering them in the DTCM system. If you do not have time for this, then you can put the property under the care of a property management company who will deal with all the organisational issues on your behalf.