In Dubai, an Entire Home Can Be Rented for the Price of a Hotel Room

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A recent report by Ernst & Young discusses downward rate adjustments by Dubai Hotels


“We have created a great hotel alternative by allowing Dubai apartment owners to offer online booking. Our own vacation rental brand ‘Yamsafer Homes’ was designed to guarantee superior quality of stay" Yasmin Khawaja of Yamsafer says

A recent report released by Ernst & Young indicates Dubai hotels are implementing downward rate adjustments citing increased room supply and decreased oil revenue as obstacles. However, one rather underestimated hotelier burden is Dubai’s booming vacation rental category - arguably the best accommodation hack Dubai has to offer travelers.

Vacation rentals are apartments available for daily rental. Such apartments are cleaned and serviced regularly, just like any hotel room would, thus making for a solid hotel alternative amongst both leisure and business travelers. Rentals are especially viable where a trip’s length of stay exceeds three nights.

For travelers, price differences are at the center of the “hotel or apartment booking” decision. Despite considerable rate drops implemented by hotels, gaps in between categories have remained wide with some locations recording up to 56% in average saving for travelers staying in vacation rentals today.

Market figures extracted from Yamsafer, a regional leader in online hotel and apartment booking, indicate larger pricing gaps as the number of room occupants increases.

“Most hotels are designed to accommodate for up to two or three occupants. Larger rooms are scarce and usually priced at a significant premium. Families traveling with five or six members are not unusual in the Middle East. Such groups are faced with the choice of expensive accommodation or scattering across separate rooms.” says Yasmin Khawaja of Yamsafer, adding, “We have created a great hotel alternative by allowing Dubai apartment owners to offer online booking. Our own vacation rental brand Yamsafer Homes was designed to guarantee superior quality of stay through handpicked multiple-room accommodations and much sought after facilities including kitchens, large living rooms and multiple bathrooms per property.”

With this fairly new reality for Dubai, Hoteliers will have to think beyond rate adjustments and luxury services to differentiate their offering and maintain market share in the long-run. While hotel revenues have recorded steady, single digit growth over the past five years vacation rental revenues, albeit from a much smaller base, have been recording double-digit growth during the same time-period.

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1.    E&Y Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey Report (July 2016)
2.    Interviews with Yamsafer staff members

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Diala Khashan
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Diala Khashan