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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Keen on renting your home to visitors? Here’s all you need to know


With the World Cup around the corner, residents in Qatar are eyeing up plans to rent out homes for visitors.

In just over a year, more than one million visitors will flock the streets of Qatar to celebrate the most awaited tournament – the 2022 FIFA World Cup. With such a major tournament around the corner, tourism is expected to boost, and residents are already thinking of plans to offer up their homes and spaces as budget-friendly alternatives to hotels.

In an effort to regulate the operation of holiday homes owned by individuals, Qatar Tourism has taken steps to implement strict international practices to increase transparency, safety, and standardisation of the sector.

“As we prepare for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are working towards ensuring a seamless experience for fans, rooted in Qatar’s tradition of hospitality,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Chairman of Qatar Tourism, Akbar Al Baker.

“With a diverse range of hospitality options across hotels, onboard cruise ships, stadiums and luxury campsites, Qatar Tourism is working with stakeholders to provide the best visitor experience across touchpoints.”

The short-term rental venture can offer significant social and financial capital, and with little to no effort on your end. However, the process of starting can be quite confusing, so this is a step-by-step guide to putting your home for rent for tourism.

Step 1: Prepare your home

In order to qualify, new tenants need to ensure that their home is safe, clean, and ready to host tourists in Qatar. Whether you want to put up for a rent just one room, or your whole house, it is essential to make it stand out enough to be picked among thousands of listings.

Qatar has a wide range of rental options that accommodate all needs, from top-notch luxurious spaces or cosier and more simple experience. Decide on what you offer your guests and make sure to prepare well before you jump on to the next step!

Step 2: Make sure you meet the requirements

It is very crucial that you know your responsibilities as a landlord or tenant before getting into the rental business. Those wishing to rent their homes can check out the constitution’s Part 1 Article 2 of the Property Leasing Law to ensure they have a clear idea of the laws and regulations for both the visitor and the tenant.

Second, you need to ensure your house meets the clear criteria set by Qatar.

Under Law No. 20 of 2018, QT is mandated to ensure that Holiday Homes holding or requesting a license meet clear criteria of facilities and services.

According to the manual, Holiday Homes are classified according to a published “Grading and Classification Manual”, which is updated whenever needed.

“A Holiday Home Unit will first need to comply with the Main & Sub Criteria for its category. These criteria reflect the minimum expectations that a guest would have of the rating applied for and must be fulfilled,” the manual reads.

The manual system plays a central role in the continued drive of establishing Qatar as a leading destination in terms of quality and hospitality, QT emphasised.

To know more about the exact steps and expectations, read the Holiday Homes Classification Manual here.

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Step 3: Get your license ready

Once you fulfil all criteria, it is time to make it official.

As part of Qatar Tourism’s efforts to promote a safe and enjoyable experience to those who visit Qatar, authorities introduced a license requirement that ensures quality standards, amenities, health and safety, accessibility criteria, code of conduct, and environmental sustainability.

To make it easy and facilitate new applications in a timely manner, Qatar Tourism has updated its system to allow owners and authorised tenants to apply for a license through its e-Services portal.

You need to first create an account, log in and then fill out all the needed information and requirements. The process is long but very easy to finish without much hassle.

“The new licensing process guarantees that international best practices are adopted by homeowners, offering transparency, safety and consistency to the sector as well as peace of mind to visitors seeking to explore Qatar and experience the country’s unparalleled hospitality,” QT said on its website.

Tenants are required to complete a self-assessment form and submit it with the License Issuance application. The form can be found here: Holiday Homes Self-Assessment Checklist_EN

Once the application is submitted and the license is obtained, then you are ready to go!

However, homeowners are accountable for ensuring the unit meets all legislative and maintenance requirements and is accurately listed with all necessary amenities and guest services provided.

Qatar Tourism will also conduct frequent inspections in order to ensure quality standards are met, so make sure to always provide the best service possible.

“This new service of regulated holiday homes will therefore allow fans with more hospitality choices to choose from while retaining the luxury and service excellence that Qatar is known for,” Al Baker added.

The recent move comes as part of the country’s plan to further diversify and increase offerings, which comes in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.

Pictures, advertisement and listing

Once you get your license, you are all set and ready to list your property on any home rental application, including Airbnb, social media platforms, and Qatar living.

Make sure to list all the amenities that you offer and include as much information as possible about the space, and most importantly, take clear pictures and post them with the listing.

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