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Friday, October 22, 2021

Got a spare room, villa or apartment in Qatar? Here’s how you can rent it out to travellers


Holiday Homes by Qatar Tourism will allow home owners to rent out their spaces to travellers coming to explore the Gulf state. 

With the World Cup 2022 fast approaching, property owners in Qatar now have the opportunity to rent out their villas, apartments and homes to travellers visiting the Gulf state.

The global sporting event next year is expected to attract some 1.5 million visitors according to conservative figures, providing a prime moment for residents and citizens in Qatar to open up their doors to host guests while raking in some financial benefits.

Que ‘Holiday Homes’ an official regulation programme set up by Qatar Tourism that allows interested individuals to apply for a licence and undergo a classification process based on specific requirements, including quality standards, amenities, health and safety regulations, accessibility criteria, code of conduct and environmental sustainability.

In recent years, the vacation rental industry has skyrocketed with home renting platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo becoming incredibly successful as they provide more attractive options for travellers.

While hotels have remained the traditional means of accommodation, vacation rentals have provided globe trotters with alternative and more exciting experiences that hotels may not be able to provide.

Online platforms now allow for a personalised and tailored travel experience that allows travellers to filter out their exact needs, such as location or required facilities. 

Vacation rentals also allow for people to explore cheaper options for accommodation, helping to cut trip costs, as well as offer a more diverse range of locations. 

Besides mere convenience, there is a certain feel to vacation rentals that hotels just do not possess. Privately-owned homes that are rented out to guests are one of the most direct ways to feel less like a tourist and more like a local, offering a more authentic trip to the country.

This, together with the ability to pick and choose exactly what level of comfort, luxury or even space required, has proven to be a hit with travellers – prompting property owners worldwide to take notice.

So how does it work?

The government-run regulation programme is simple and effective for both landlords and consumers – in fact, it can be completed in just two steps.

Step one: Apply online for a Holiday Homes licence online using the Qatar Tourism e-Services portal. 

Step two: Once you’re authorised to rent out your property, simply list your holiday home on any platform, including Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Vrbo and AirBnb.  

However, to become authorised to rent out your property, you’ll need to go through a series of applications and assessments. 

Firstly, all specifications and conditions for home rentals must be met before applying for the category you want to list your property under, and this can be done through the completion of a self assessment form that must be submitted with the License Issuance Application. 

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This will then lead to an inspection visit from the Licensing Department which will allow the experts time to identify any key issues – or alternatively – give you the thumbs up.

Upon inspection, the team will check and confirm if the unit conforms to guidelines and standards needed for the category you have applied for. A report will then be provided containing details of any alterations that need to be made to the unit. 

Unit owners will be given time to address any deficiencies and carry out any changes required but the inspectors make a final visit to check on progress.

If all necessary changes have been made, the unit will finally be able to receive a permanent classification certificate valid for 5 years.

Although the process may take some time to complete, it does offer your soon-to-be-customers peace of mind knowing you’ve adopted quality standards.

With these simple steps, villa or apartment owners and renters in Qatar’s vibrant tourism areas will be able to open their properties up to travellers and new opportunities to make revenue and expand their portfolios. 

With Qatar 2022 round the corner, this presents a golden opportunity for property owners to solidify their places on the vacation rental market in Qatar that is surely set to boost in the run up and post World Cup.

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