After operating in the legal grey area for some time, Airbnb has received regulatory go-ahead from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, opening up opportunities for home owners to rent their properties as holiday homes on short-term rentals.

While Airbnb may undercut the mid-market hotel and hotel apartment industry on price, it does offer new lodging options in the emirate for segments that could not afford to stay in the city.

The local serviced apartment industry is responding by reinforcing the sector’s quality, operational, service and safety standards, offering luxury, privacy and the comforts of home combined with hotel-like amenities such as restaurant, spa, gym or meeting space.

The number of visitors in Dubai increased in 2016 by 5% over 2015, and Dubai aims to attract 20 million visitors by 2020.

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