Dubai signs deal with Airbnb to boost tourism industry

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Dubai Tourism and Airbnb has said they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help promote responsible hosting and help grow and diversify tourism in the emirate.

The MoU follows the introduction of enhanced regulations in April that make obtaining a “holiday home” license more streamlined for individual tenants and home owners who want to rent their homes to guests, Dubai Tourism said in an e-mailed statement.

The MoU will bolster collaboration between the two parties and help enhance and diversify the emirate’s holiday home sector, boosting competition through a safe and transparent holiday home segment.

Airbnb is a website headquartered in San Francisco and launched by entrepreneurs Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky in 2008.

Under the agreement, Airbnb will cooperate with Dubai Tourism on preventing breaches of the regulation by informing all host members of the Dubai Tourism regulations via its website and through email reminders of the rules.

The two parties will also explore joint marketing and promotional activations for Dubai as a tourism destination.

Dubai Tourism and Airbnb will work together to help grow and diversify tourism in Dubai, and promote “innovative forms of tourism,” the statement said.

Airbnb is an increasingly popular way for guests from around the world to experience Dubai by staying with local hosts. There are almost 3,500 Airbnb listings in Dubai. This number and the number of guests choosing Airbnb when traveling to Dubai has doubled since last year.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said in keeping with global demand trends and a highly digitised market place for key enablers of tourism infrastructure, “we are pleased to partner with Airbnb, a pioneer in this space, to help promote diverse accommodation options to our visitors in a safe, secure and controlled manner.”

Olivier Gremillon, Managing Director of Airbnb in Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “this partnership with Dubai Tourism will combine the dynamism of Dubai with the passionate hosts who open their doors, creating rewarding travel experiences for guests.

Earlier in the year, Dubai Tourism said the Gulf Arab sheikhdom, home of the world’s only seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab, received over 14.2 million tourists in 2015, a sharp 7.5-percent increase over 2014.

With 450,000 Chinese tourists visiting Dubai in 2015, inbound traffic from China dominated the uptake from this region, topping the leader board of year-on-year growth trends with a 29 percent increase, said Dubai Tourism.

By 2020 when Dubai hosts the six-month long World Expo, the emirate aims to lure up to 25 million tourists.

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