The Short-Let Market Review Report: Q3 2023

The AirDXB Short-Let Market Review Report: Q3 2023

We are pleased to launch the third edition of the AirDXB Short-Let Market Review Report, focusing on the developments in the Dubai short-let market for Q3 2023.

Q3 is the epicentre of the short-let market’s low season, as tourism numbers decline in the hotter summer months. However, AirDXB were proud to maintain our high occupancy rates across the quarter, averaging at 95%: a staggering 42% higher than market average. The quarter performed well in general, in fact it was the best performing Q3 on record, both in terms of transaction volume and sales value. The Dubai real estate sector is booming and with progressive government initiatives, such as the UAE Tourism Strategy 2031, it is a great time to consider short-let as one of your key investments.

In this report, we take a look at the continued boom in real estate transactions, the areas in Dubai seeing the most transaction activity, how long-term rents are levelling off in prime locations, the decrease of stock in the short-let market by approx. 20%, combined with record-breaking rates for high season: the perfect example of demand outperforming supply and driving up financial returns.

The Top 5 Trends in Short-Let in Q3 2023

The best performing Q3 in terms of both volume and value of real estate transactions since 2014. The confidence in the Dubai real estate market is at an all-time high which can be attributed to economic stability, government initiatives geared towards facilitating investment, robust infrastructure, high quality of life, and the UAE remaining a tax-friendly jurisdiction. Market accessibility is also a factor. We are seeing an increasingly diverse demographic of property investor. 26% of total sales in Q3 2023 where in the price range of AED1m – 2m which aligns with the on-going trend of apartment sales outperforming villa sales. Many of these transactions involved first-time/one-time property investors, as residents and overseas buyers become increasingly aware of the investment opportunities in the UAE, including the lucrative short-let market, which is seen as a stable and low-risk market in comparison to other global financial hubs.

The shift towards Al Khail Road: a new dominating market. Traditionally popular areas such as Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah no longer dominate real estate transactions, as the high-end investor market settles and the mid-level investor market spurs activity. We are seeing buyers seek value and deals, which can be found in lower-cost areas such as JVC, Business Bay and JLT. In Q3, we saw the emergence of new and upcoming areas such as Al Merkadh (off-plan) and Arjan on the leaderboard which further demonstrates the appetite for value for money. This is great for those looking to short-let their property in these areas, as the lower sale price could provide a greater yield on financial returns.

The impact of the UAE Tourism Strategy 2031 on the short-let market. Launched in November 2022, the proposed strategy will strengthen the position of the UAE as one of the best destinations in the world for tourism, boosting overnight visitors to 40 million by 2031 and attracting AED100 billion in additional tourism-related investments, potentially including commercial gaming (the establishment of The General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) was announced in Q3) which would bring an entirely new type of tourist to the Emirates. Given the long-term and short-let markets target completely different audiences (residents v tourists), we forsee the percentage difference in comparable financial returns will increase by up to 80% in favour of short-let.

Record-breaking rates on short-let. Q3 is the low season for short-let meaning that ADRs often (and did this year) fall below the annual average. However, Q3 is also the time when we get an indication of how high season (starting in Q4) will perform as guests start to book for future months. As of printing, 10% of AirDXB’s portfolio are achieving their highest rates since listing with us, and this percentage is increasing on a daily basis. December 2023 is looking particularly strong as COP28 bookings have secured maximum occupancy rates and ADRs, and the festive season (peak time for short-let) is performing as strong as it ever.

Long-term rental market cooling. Similar to the transactional market, long-term rents are levelling off in traditionally popular areas as renters, just like buyers, begin to move further out to secure better deals. The Dubai Land Department states that the average rent in Q3 was AED68,000 but of course, there are areas where this is significantly higher (eg Palm Jumeirah average rent is AED256,785). A report by CBRE issued in August 2023 stated that areas such as Mudon (5%), Deira (4.8%) and Remraan (4.6%) are seeing the highest percentage increase in rent on a MoM basis (figures from July 2023), showing that the high spikes in rental returns for landlords, in central locations, have cooled.

Access the full report for further information and contact AirDXB Group Director, Gregory Lewis, with any enquiries.

The AirDXB Short-Let Market Review Report: Q3 2023

AirDXB in Gulf News: Dubai short-stay rents sizzle in Q4-2023

First published in Gulf News, October 2023

Dubai: Short-let or long-term rental?

Landlords in Dubai are again having to take up this question in earnest as demand and rental rates on short-let show no signs of cooling off. In fact, there’s every chance that the period up to January 2024, and beyond, could turn out to be even better for the Dubai short-let market. Some landlords have transitioned to the long-term market with the assumption that they will make higher financial returns there. This article takes a look at why short-let remains a strong investment opportunity.

Check out the insights from our Founder and Director, Gregory Lewis, which were used in this article, below.

How many new short stay homes have been added to the Dubai and UAE rental space in the year to date? (Do holiday homes also come under the short-stay rentals?)

Holiday homes are the same as short-stay rentals, you can book an AirDXB property from one night up to 364 nights. While AirDXB stock continues to increase, from our analysis of our competitors and the overall Dubai short-let market, it is clear that stock has dropped. Due to the recent spike in rental returns which can be made in the long-term market, homeowners have transitioned across, or sold their property, to take advantage of these increased rates or sale prices. However, this is positive news for short-let. Less supply (stock) with increasing demand (we are projecting one of the highest performing high seasons in recent years) = higher returns for our homeowners. We are already seeing record-breaking rates for early December – COP28 – and the New Year period. COP28 is a particular boast in 2023, promising over 80,000 international travellers to Dubai in the first two weeks of December.

Are you starting to see a situation where rental increases have stabilised? Or in other words, have short stay tariffs started seeing less growth year on year?

Long-term rental increases are levelling out and stabilizing. While there have been minor increases in areas such as Dubai Marina, areas such as Palm Jumierah and Downtown Dubai have stalled and recorded no increases in recent months. However, we are seeing increases in long-term rents in further out locations such as JVC, but these areas still remain affordable. The top tier market who were prepared to pay higher rents has topped out, and it is now the mid-tier – looking for value and deals – who are dominating the market. This has little impact on short-let, as our returns are based on occupancy levels, average daily rates and ultimately tourists rather than residents. In fact, the impact is positive, as homeowners who have transitioned to long-term have increased demand in short-let.

Short-let returns have been consistently high, and remain higher than that of the long-term market. When long-term rents first started to spike, we saw the percentage difference in returns drop to 30% from 50% (in favour of short-let). However, with the drop in stock on short-let and government initiatives dedicated to increasing tourism (see: The UAE Tourism Strategy 2031 designed to boost the tourism sector’s GDP contribution to AED450 billion, at an annual increase of AED 7 billion by 2031) and global events such as COP28, we forecast that not only will we see 50% higher returns than long-term again in the very near future, but we will actually surpass this.

Any early indicators on the number of short stay homes in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi?

According to Airdna, a data analysis company for the global vacation rental market, Abu Dhabi currently has 1,218 short-let listings, a 96% increase in the last year, with an average market occupancy rate of 41%. Sharjah as 655 short-let listings, up 39% in the last year, with an average market occupancy rate of 37%.

Any trend where you have been seeing landlords/investors pull out of short stay lets and going for full-year contracts?

We were seeing this trend at the start of the year, as some homeowners panicked and made the jump to long-term. Short-let allows homeowners to effectively ‘tread water’ while the market fluctuates and then ultimately settles, upon which time you can todqay make an informed decision on which market you want to be in. Long-term, however, you are contractually obligated to stay in, no matter what happens in the market (unless you meet specific criteria). Homeowners need to consider where they want to be in a years’ time. For example, we spoke to a homeowner who moved to long-term in January 2023 as the rent for their one bed apartment in Dubai Marina had jumped to AED90,000 from AED75,000. The rent for this same apartment is now AED110,000, but given the 5% RERA Index, this homeowner will only be able to increase rent to AED94,500 after 12 months – already 16% under market value on the long-term market. Our conservative projection for this apartment, based on similar properties we have on our portfolio, is that it would make AED130,000 this year on the short-let market, which is 38% higher.

Any other trends? Highest rental for a short stay let in the year to date?

16 of our properties (since increased from time of writing) have recently hit their highest rates yet since joining us at AirDXB, outside of the New Year Period. We have seen a villa in Jumeriah Village Circle attain 300% higher rates YoY – which is equal to what villas on the Palm were making on short-let in 2022. We have a one bedroom in Downtown Dubai making 200% higher rates YoY – which are equal to the rates usually achieved by a 3 bed+ apartment, and a 2 bed apartment on the Palm making 50% higher rates YoY. All strong indicators that the short-let market is thriving.

For further information on the financial returns achievable for your property on the short-let market, contact Gregory Lewis, AirDXB Founder & Director. 

The Short-Let Market Review Report: Q2 2023

We are pleased to launch the second edition of the AirDXB Short-Let Market Review Report, focusing on the developments in the Dubai short-let market for Q2 2023.

The strength of the Dubai real estate sector is evident with H1 2023 recording the highest levels of real estate sales to-date: 61,000 total sales with a total value of nearly AED180 billion. Industry experts believe sales may exceed AED300 billion for the first time by the end of this year. What’s making Dubai so interesting to investors? A rising population, new developments, minimal taxes, and a strong short-let market compared to global counterparts.

In this report, we take a look at the key trends impacting the short-let market in Q2, such as the significant shift in apartment v villa sales, as well as market performance indicators, including volume of stock, average returns, and occupancy rates.

The Top 5 Trends in Short-Let in Q2 2023

The rise of the property investor
Q2 saw a significant surge in property transactions, with May alone seeing a 76% increase YoY. However, villa sales declined by 31.7% across the quarter YoY. What does this mean? Apartments are where the interest lies, either to live in personally or as an investment vehicle. AirDXB has seen heightened levels of interest in the short-let market, particularly with first-time buyers looking to supplement their income, secure an asset and meet mortgage repayments without tenancy and contractual obligations.

Normalization of Long-Term Rentals
We are starting to see long-term rental contracts decrease in value, for example the average rental contract in Dubai Marina is now AED5,000 less than it was in Q1. This is an indicator of things to come. Residents in Dubai are tiring of paying exorbitant prices and the perceived lack of real value. This ties in with the increase we have seen in the purchase of apartments – many residents would prefer to pay their own mortgage than the recent inflated rental prices. We believe this will be the start of the market normalizing in terms of long-term rentals, increasing the value found in short-let.

Dubai’s Booming Tourism Sector
Part of the success of Dubai’s short-let market lies in the consistent stream of tourists. Ramadan, normally a slow period, saw a record number of visitors, with 1.35 million people coming to Dubai during the holy month, a 19% increase from 2022, and 50% increase from pre-pandemic figures. Dubai has claimed the title of the world’s most popular tourist destination for the second year running while Dubai International Airport remains the busiest international airport for 9 years running. Dubai is buzzing with activity – good news for short-let!

High Occupancy Rates are Key to Success in Dubai’s Hotter Months
The short-let market is cyclical meaning that colder months will out-perform hotter months, even if Q2 2023 saw a greater number of tourists than previous years. As expected, average daily rates across the market were lower in Q2 than in Q1 (by 31%). Occupancy rates also saw a drop across Dubai, however these were 3% better for the quarter YoY. AirDXB were pleased to report that our average daily rates remained consistent for the quarter YoY and our clients enjoyed consistently higher occupancy rates than market average – in fact we had a staggering up to 55% higher occupancy rate across the quarter meaning strong returns for our clients in the low season.

Higher Sale Prices for Chain-Free
The short-let market remains a strong property investment for those considering selling the property in the short-mid term. There can be up to a 15% increase in sale price for buyers looking for chain-free property acquisitions. Last year alone, our boutique investments advisory arm advised on 77 property transactionsamounting to over AED100 million of assets. We are a fully independent, unbiased advisor for our clients wishing to sell properties, as well as those who need advice on where best to purchase for maximum returns on the short-let market.

Access the full report for further information and contact AirDXB Group Director, Gregory Lewis, with any enquiries.

The AirDXB Short-Let Market Review Report: Q2 2023

AirDXB in Gulf News: Ajman latest Emirate to allow short-stay rentals

First published in Gulf News, May 2023

Offering short stay rental options is creating opportunities to better manage supply of new properties in the UAE, with Ajman becoming the latest emirate to issue rules to develop the holiday homes concept. This went into effect May 1.

Sharjah too in the recent past issued regulations on holiday homes, while at the same time protecting the rights of consumers who use them. Dubai’s holiday homes keep surfing high demand, with the recent Eid holidays easily adding up to more than 90 per cent occupancy levels. In Abu Dhabi, a base is getting built that offers visitors something other than hotel rooms and serviced apartments attached to them.

What all this does is offer landlords options beyond that standard one-year rental lease. Sources say short-term leasing will allow the various emirates better manage new property supply in line with demand. What the authorities don’t want to see is plenty of new homes left unoccupied for long stretches depending on whether there is sufficient demand for one-year rentals.

With short-term, landlords can make suitable changes as and when they see fit. And, hopefully, bring more stability on rental fluctuations.

Keep checking inbound travel numbers

The short-term prospects for short-stay leasing in the UAE is likely to remain at elevated levels. “All that landlords will need to keep checking is inbound travel numbers,” said the head of a property management company specializing in holiday homes. “There is so much that Sharjah or Ajman can do with short stays, particularly with those coming into the country for extended holidays.

“Any property near to the beaches stands a good chance for frequent letting.”

Sharjah’s been working on its hospitality sector by creating new destinations or giving makeovers to heritage sites. These have proved popular with tourists – especially Gulf and Middle East visitors – seeking experiences slightly different to what they would expect here. Which would require more hotel room stocks – or until then, make sure enough of short-stay options.

Ajman’s pipeline of new homes has been busy through recent months, while the emirate has simultaneously focussed on building up its tourist destinations and experiences. Now, by allowing holiday home rentals, the emirate seeks to make gains from both.

Short-stays are here to stay

“The short-let model is seasonal and runs over a 12 monthly cycle. Low season will naturally see a drop in prices (up to 50%) as temperatures soar to over 40 degrees, which naturally influences tourism. However, high season rates level out the returns, meaning the overall annual returns for short-let still exceed the long-term lease model.

Couple this with retaining control over your asset, having the ability without the stresses of landlord/tenant obligations, it makes for a great option.”

Gregory Lewis, Director of AirDXB Group

Dubai landlords have it best

In Dubai, landlords are spoilt for choice on what they should be doing with their properties. Stick with a 1-year lease and they get to access a market where key locations have seen rent gains for 20-30 per cent.

If they think short-stays are where they want to be, this space is giving them equally solid returns. It’s all showing in the numbers.

“Towards the end of 2022, as long-term rents increased in Dubai, the volume of new stock arriving on to the short-let market slowed considerably as homeowners chased the inflated prices in long-term,” says a report by AirDXB Group.

“This trend has continued into Q1-2023 with 1,238 new listings across 3 months, showing a minor 5 per cent quarterly growth in the short-let market. This is great for current homeowners in the short-let market, as less supply drives further demand, resulting in higher ADR and higher occupancy rates, meaning higher returns overall for short-let homeowners.”

This article used information from our Short-Let Market Review Report: Q1 2023. Access your copy now. 

The Short-Let Market Review Report: Q1 2023

We are delighted to share AirDXB’s first Short-Let Market Review Report focusing on Q1 2023. In this report, we take a look at the key trends impacting the short-let market the year so far, such as the homeowner migration to long-term, as well as market performance indicators, including volume of stock, average returns, and occupancy rates.

Key Short-Let Trends from Q1 2023

Q1 2023 – The best performing quarter in Dubai history for real estate transactions. Sales value was AED 88.7B, up 9.5% v Q1 2022.. Sales volume was 30,900, up 7.5% v Q1 2022. A plot at Dubai Creek Harbour was sold for AED 1.57B: the largest deal ever recorded. The sector as a whole is booming, but what does this mean for the short-let market? We provide an overview in our Market Review Q1 2023 report.

Dubai welcomed 4.67 million overnight international visitors in Q1, up 17% from Q1 in 2022, fueled by a steady flow from three top source markets: Russia, India and Oman. Dubai’s hotel stock climbed to 150,000 keys in Q1 2023, while the short-let market saw higher than average occupancy rates.

The migration to the long-term rental market is at an all-time high with less new stock coming onto the short-let market and short-let homeowners transitioning across to long-term. This has created greater demand for the short-let market, increasing average daily rates & occupancy levels, resulting in higher returns for short-let homeowners.

The short-let market remains a strong property investment for those considering selling the property in the short-mid term. There can be up to a 20% increase in sale price for buyers looking for chain-free property acquisitions. For example, a tenanted 2-bed in 5242 Dubai Marina is 17% cheaper than the same apartment chain-free. AirDXB recently advised on a sale where the buyer paid 11% more for an apartment in Bay Central, as it was chain-free.

Ramadan starting in mid-March created the usual slowdown in the short-let market, however occupancy rates were still over 10% higher than Ramadan last year. We expect to see this increase in 2024 as Ramadan continues to fall in tourist high season months.

Access the full Short-Let Market Review Report:

AirDXB Short-Let Market Review Report Q1 2023

Please contact Gregory, Director of AirDXB Group, for further information.

Hassle-Free Hosting with AirDXB Podcast: Episode 1

Hassle-Free Hosting with AirDXB
Introducing: The AirDXB Podcast

We are delighted to announce our brand new podcast, ‘Hassle-Free Hosting with AirDXB’. We catch up with AirDXB clients, industry professionals and real estate experts to discuss the Dubai short-let market, where best to invest for short-let, short-let returns vs long-term rental rates, and everything else Dubai real estate.

Catch our first episode with our client, Tommy Johnson, who speaks about his journey to short-let, his experiences with AirDXB as his preferred host management company, and why he’s not moving to the long-term rental market any time soon: Spotify | YouTube | Apple |  Google| Goodpods| rephonic | IVOOX

 

Available on Spotify, Apple, Google, Goodpods, and all normal podcast channels now.
Prefer to watch the video? Catch it here on our YouTube channel: Hassle-Free Hosting with AirDXB

Why interiors matter when short-letting your property

Short-let host management company in Dubai

You’ve made the decision: you want to start making extra money by listing your property on the short-term let market. But what can you do to make your listing stand out from the crowd and increase your occupancy rate? After all, a high occupancy rate means higher returns for you. Let’s take a look at the benefits.

Create an inviting environment

Updating your apartment can help create an inviting environment, giving guests confidence that they will have a comfortable stay. Making changes to the layout of a room (such as replacing furniture), updating older rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms (through services such as wrapping or flooring), or redecorating through adding extra touches, such as rugs or artwork, can make a big difference to the overall feel of your property. Not only will this help your listing stand-out to potential guests, it will drive business through 5* reviews and word-of-mouth. Guests like to feel the property is a “home away from home”, or even better!

Increase profits

By making upgrades in certain areas or undertaking necessary repairs, you will not only attract more guests and better reviews, you could potentially increase your profits by charging higher rates. Guests will pay more to stay somewhere which appeals to them. Even minor updates such as fixing broken windows or a fresh lick of paint can add AED to your wallet. Positive reviews will increase traffic, leading to increased popularity/demand and higher average nightly rates.

Increase the value of your property

The most obvious benefit of redecorating your home is increasing its value. Upgrading features of your apartment like the kitchen or bathroom can instantly improve its marketability, allowing for potential buyers to envision themselves living in your space and willing to pay top dollar for it. Additionally, minor maintenance such as painting walls or refreshing carpets helps protect against wear-and-tear damage over time and ensure that any deterioration in quality is kept at bay. There is long-term gain to consistent maintenance of your property.

We can help

At AirDXB, our upgraded properties make up to 20% higher returns than those which aren’t (even in the same building). Speak with our interiors consultants who can work to any budget and can help you determine what is necessary, and what is not. Contact Leanne for an initial discussion with no obligations.

Wrapping: what is it and do you want it?

Wrapping services in Dubai

Wrapping – the best way to renovate without spending a fortune (in our opinion). Not only does wrapping enhance the look and feel of a room (normally your kitchen or bathroom) but it also serves as protection from heat, moisture, dirt, and other environmental factors – particularly when you have a high volume of guests.

Let us talk you through it.

The benefits of wrapping

There are 3 key benefits of wrapping: 1) look and feel; 2) wear-and-tear; and 3) hygiene.

Look and feel: there are so many options with wrapping, any colour and any style. Transform the aesthetic entirely or simply refresh the room. From country-style kitchen to sleek bathrooms, you can be sure there is something to suit your taste. Extra benefit: it doesn’t have to be permanent. Refresh the style every few years to stay up-to-date with trends.

Wear-and-tear: this is important for short-let properties with high traffic. Wrapping will protect your countertops, cupboards and other fittings. Vulnerable surfaces can be protected from scratches and damage caused over time and which would otherwise occur due to everyday activities like cooking or cleaning.

Hygiene: materials used in wrapping are easily cleaned and wiped down and can create a more hygienic space for food preparation, for example. It acts as an effective barrier against allergens such as pollen, dirt and dust – ideal for guests that can be sensitive to irritation.

And how could we forget… cost!!! Putting a new kitchen or bathroom in, even from IKEA, will be expensive. Wrapping is a great alternative, even from a purely savings point of view.

Types of wrapping

When you are in discussions, it’s good to know what you are asking for:

Vinyl wraps are made out of durable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material which is water-resistant and very easy to clean but they aren’t always the best choice since they can become brittle over time. However, if you think you will update every few years, it’s a great choice. You can get the most out of it by regularly cleaning with mild detergent so it lasts longer.

Paper wraps are usually made from wood fiber paper which means they’re more durable than vinyl wraps (great for stairs or other high traffic areas for example). Additionally, paper wrap is available in various colors so you can customize the look depending on what hue best fits your existing décor scheme.

Know who to ask

Our interiors consultants can talk you through the different options available. We can guide you through the best colours and materials to suit your home. Contact Leanne for more information.

A happy client

“I moved in to a lovely villa – amazing for me, my husband and our child (and three cats & dog). The space was big, but it didn’t look how I wanted, it was outdated. I had heard of AirDXB but didn’t realise how many services they actually offer, including wrapping. I spoke to Leanne about my wish list and upgraded not only my kitchen, but my bathrooms, window frames, and even the full stairway. The most impressive part was the backsplash in the kitchen – it looks like real tiles! I loved how they could think outside the box and how they guided me along the entire process, from choosing materials to deciding what was ‘must have’ and what wasn’t. A truly impressive service and really affordable too. The best part for me is that it is easily removed; we rent our villa so this was a main consideration – I didn’t want to do anything which couldn’t be reversed later.” (Allison Lear).

AirDXB in AGBI: Landlords benefit as UAE & KSA embrace Airbnb model

First published in Arabian Gulf Business Insight, 12 March 2023

The UAE’s introduction of a remote working visa and Saudi Arabia’s plan to allow residents to rent out rooms in their homes has led to the Gulf embracing the Airbnb model and a boom in the short-term rental sector.

In March 2021 the UAE cabinet introduced a remote work visa, allowing workers to set up residence in the Gulf state while continuing to work for overseas employers.

Room rental platform Airbnb included Dubai when it last year launched its Live and Work Anywhere global initiative.

In December it signed an agreement with the Department of Economy and Tourism to set up the Dubai remote working hub – designed to make it easier for those applying for the remote work visa to find short-term accommodation.

“Dubai is a global leader in facilitating remote working,” said Velma Corcoran, regional lead for Middle East and Africa at Airbnb.

“As this trend continues to accelerate, we want to work together to make it easier for people to enjoy the newfound flexibility to work and travel, and help the city harness the economic benefits of this new type of tourism.”

Dubai recruitment businesses and company set-up firms told AGBI the remote working visa has led to an increase in the number of applicants wishing to open in the emirate.

“With e-visas Dubai aims to create a hassle-free immigration process for professionals by reducing wait time for those looking forward to moving to the region,” said Kunal Fabiani, CEO for the Americas and Africa at company set-up firm Healy Consultants Group.

As a result, short-term letting agencies in the UAE have seen increased demand. Joanna Plunkett, manager of short-term rentals at Betterstay, said growth last year was up around 12.5 percent.

“The popularity of short-term rentals in Dubai has increased significantly, with more and more companies opening up to meet the growing demand,” she said.

“This trend is expected to continue as awareness of the benefits of short-term rentals spreads throughout the UAE, with requests for properties in other Emirates such as Abu Dhabi on the rise.”

Dubai Tourism reported that last year the number of overnight guests reached 14.36 million, up from 7.28 million in 2021.

While this is still short of the 16.73 million in 2019, Alessandro D’Ubaldo, founder of Dubaldo Real Estate and operator of Greystone Villa Dubai, said the short-term rental market has already exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re now witnessing a level of activity that many thought would not be achievable,” he said.

According to letting agency AirDXB, the list of top 10 source markets for short-term tenants is led by Russia followed by the UK, US, India, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Egypt.

Director, Gregory Lewis said homeowners saw short-term rates rise by up to 10 percent in the first half of last year.

However, with Dubai’s long-term rental rates last year rising by an average of 36 percent, Lewis said this led to some homeowners switching from short-term letting to long-term tenants to avail of better yields.

He estimated that stock in the short-term sector had dropped by around 28 percent in Dubai in 2023.

“This is good for our homeowners,” Lewis said. “Less supply with increased demand is driving up the average nightly rate, and combined with our high occupancy levels, this means higher returns for our clients.”

Following the successes seen in the UAE, neighbouring Saudi Arabia in January approved a new law to allow citizens to rent out rooms in their homes to tourists, paving the way for the introduction of operators such as Airbnb and rival HomeAway.

“Encouraging Saudi citizens to play a more active role in the nation’s economy, and introducing regulations that protect both property owners and guests, positively impacted the country’s tourism and hospitality sectors,” D’Ubaldo said.

“This can already be seen across the promising short-term rental market in Saudi Arabia.”

AirDXB’s Lewis said Saudi Arabia was “an exciting market” and he has not ruled out expanding the brand to the kingdom.

“There will be an official tourism service provider for short-let property listings, so it remains to be seen if companies like Airbnb will be invited to operate there.”

AirDXB tops occupancy rates in Dubai

AirDXB are delighted to announce we are at full occupancy, a great achievement in Q1 of the year. Similar listings across Dubai are currently at an 80% occupancy rate, meaning we are above market average by 20%.

AirDXB clients benefitted from a 93% occupancy rate in January 2023, typically a slower month in the short-let calendar, showing that our portfolio is consistently strong in comparison to the general market.

What does this means for our homeowners?

High occupancy rates mean better financial returns for homeowners. It also means more opportunity for 5* reviews and promotional activities, essentially creating a domino effect, where higher traffic should, in theory, drive further business. This is where AirDXB comes in.

Gregory Lewis, Founder of AirDXB stated:

“Now, more than ever, it is important for AirDXB to show the value in what we do and the high standard to which we do it. Our homeowners know me and trust that my team will work hard to ensure the best possible guest experience, from cleaning to maintenance requests, which in turn drives the 5* reviews, increasing the flow of guests to our properties. Our goal for 2023 is to continue pushing for these high occupancy levels to create a consistent flow of income for our clients.”

Why should these high occupancy levels be of particular interest to you, right now?

Unless you’re hiding under a rock, you will know the real estate market in Dubai is flourishing (check out our 2023 real estate trends blog here). This not only includes the property investment market but long-terms rentals too. Due to this spike in long-term rental rates, we believe stock on the short-let market has decreased by approximately 28% in Dubai (based on our own workings), as some homeowners transitioned their property from short-let to long-term leasing.

So, what’s the link? Less supply of stock has created increased demand in the short-let market, driving up the average nightly rate. Combine this with consistently high occupancy levels and our clients are looking at a fairly dramatic increase in returns – and it’s only February.

What can short-let homeowners expect in the coming months?

Dubai has been voted, ‘The World’s Most Popular Destination for Holidaymakers”, in TripAdvisor’s 2023 Travellers’ Choice Awards, and is predicted to return to pre-pandemic tourism numbers this year. Which is pretty exciting seeing as we welcomed over 14 million tourists in 2022. Dubai will also play host to some of the largest global events in 2023, including COP28, expected to be the biggest UN Climate Summit yet with over 80,000 delegates. All this buzz creates a demand for accommodation, and with Dubai in the top 10 performing cities for Airbnb stays, the near future is looking bright for the short-let market.

Contact us if you have a property you would like to list on the short-let market. We also offer incentives for referrals.

AirDXB pride ourselves on being consistently good, our stats for 2022:

150% increase in our portfolio | 90%+ average occupancy rates | 5* average review rating

 

Why turn your property into a holiday home?

The question that AirDXB is built around: why turn your property into a holiday home? For us, it is straight-forward: in a market like Dubai, it is a great revenue stream for homeowners. What we find great about Dubai, is that there is a diverse demographic of homeowners too – from investors with full portfolios, to first-time buyers looking to supplement their existing salary. Thinking about entering the short-let market? Check out the key reasons we think you should below.

Increased income

As stated above, an investment property can add money to your wallet with the short-let market in particular providing a significant source of passive income, especially during peak tourist seasons. Dubai is particularly lucrative, given its top spot on most, if not all, “best holiday destinations” lists. This income can be used to offset the costs of owning the property or to supplement other forms of income.

Better returns

Properties that are used as holiday homes are generally rented out at higher rates compared to traditional long-term rentals, which can result in higher returns on investment. Of course, this can ebb and flow, but looking from a wider perspective, this tends to be the case. Short-let homeowners can utilize peak seasons to maximize profits, and with Dubai playing host to some of the largest global events in the world, the opportunities are there.

Flexibility

For us, this is key. With a holiday rental property, owners can choose to rent it out for specific times of the year and use it for their own personal use for the rest of the year. You aren’t tied into any tenancy agreements and won’t have any limitations. AirDXB is completely flexible for you too – have family coming over for a week, a month, a year? No problem. We don’t hold you to strict commitments (the property is yours, after all).

Diversify your investment

Property is an investment and one you expect will give a good yield in the future. But why sit and wait for it to make you money in years to come? Owning a holiday rental property can be a long-term investment that can appreciate in value over time, whilst making you money monthly, especially if it is well-maintained and located in a desirable tourist destination.

You can “forget” about it
(if you use a management company like AirDXB!)

Utilizing a property/host management company means that you don’t need to get involved in the day-to-day. We provide an end-to-end service, from property listing through to guest relations, maintenance, concierge and housekeeping. Our homeowners enjoy a 95% occupancy rate, greatly higher than the 43% market average, which is one of the reasons why we have AirBnB ‘Superhost’ status.

Speak to our Director, Gregory Lewis, to find out more.

The Emerging Real Estate Trends in Dubai for 2023

The big predictions for the Dubai real estate market in 2023 mostly hit the long-term rental and transactional (buy/sell) market, however we have taken the key trends and put together our thoughts on the impact of these on the short-let market. Check it out below.

Modest rise in property prices

Dubai’s property prices have been on the rise in recent years, but 2023 may see only a modest increase in prices, slowing the growth of the market. Zoom Property Insights predicts a 5% growth in the market by the end of the year, compared to 11% in 2022.

This slowdown is mainly due to the rise in interest rates. The Central Bank of the UAE raised the base rate for Overnight Deposit Fact (ODF) from 4.4% to 4.65% on 2 February 2023. Although the impact on the property market is expected to be minimal, since about 70% of property transactions are conducted in cash, it may affect the mortgage industry.

Impact on short-let: This mainly impacts our first-time property investors, looking to start their journey in the short-let market. With high mortgage rates, it could be tricky – although not impossible – to get on the investment property ladder this year. However, having said that, dependent on budget, investors could look into lower cost developments. There is a lot of stock coming onto the Dubai market this year (approx. 47,000 units), with off-plan and resale options, and one beds (which take up 40% of AirDXB stock) prove popular with guests. Some first-time investors may wish to wait until 2024, however with some adjustment to budgets & expectations, others could very well proceed this year. For those with their mortgages pre-agreed or cash buyers, the general slowdown is good news.

Increased rental renewals

According to Arabian Business, the Dubai rental market saw a 27% increase in 2022, with apartments and villas seeing a 27% and 24.5% increase in average rent, respectively. With the increase in rent and the cost of living as a whole, there has been a higher number of rental agreement renewals as people prefer to extend their leases instead of relocating. This trend is expected to continue in 2023.

Impact on short-let: The migration of homeowners from short-let to the long-term rental market will slow. Dare we say it, some homeowners who wish to take advantage of short-let benefits later down the line, may not have the flexibility to do so due to commitments/contracts to their long-term tenants. In the meantime, this migration is benefitting the short-term market massively, with less available stock driving up the average nightly rate, creating higher returns for our homeowners.

Apartment market makes a comeback

In 2020 and 2021, the villa segment dominated Dubai’s property market, with an average annual growth of 20%. The apartment market, on the other hand, struggled to reach double-digit growth. However, the trend is changing in 2023, with Zoom Property Insights reporting that 67,700 apartments were sold in 2022, with the average price reaching 1.2 million. This represents a 71.1% increase in transactions and a 20.9% increase in average price compared to 2021.

This growth shows that buyers are once again interested in the apartment sector, possibly due to the launch of new developments offering state-of-the-art apartments at affordable prices. The Zeitgeist 2022 Report from PropertyFinder stated that off-plan transactions value made up 44% of all transactions in 2022, up from 40% in 2021 as measured by volume (both apartments & villas). We are also expecting 45,000 new apartments and 7,000 new villas onto the Dubai residential market (statista).

Impact on short-let: New developments = new opportunities for investment properties, particularly in the short-let market where modern finishings sell. Of course, you can’t compete with space or location – something a lot of new builds lack – and therefore updated “older” developments still have that selling power. Speak to our interiors team at Furnished for insights on how minor adjustments can make a big impact.

Focus on affordable communities

With the rising cost of living in Dubai, buyers and tenants are focusing on affordable communities. International City, Liwan, and Discovery Gardens are popular among buyers, with studio apartments in International City costing an average of AED 232,000, AED 324,000 for 1-bed, and AED 676,000 for 2-bed apartments.

Other affordable rental areas in Dubai include Dubai Silicon Oasis, Bur Dubai, Discovery Gardens, and Dubai Sports City.

Impact on short-let: Properties in more central locations, such as Dubai Marina, The Palm, Emaar Beachfront etc, will become less popular with UAE residents and long-term tenants, as they move further out of town to grab a good deal. With big competition to secure long-term tenants willing to pay (far) higher than average rents, short-term letting will be a more viable option for homeowners in these popular tourist areas to maximize their profits.

*Disclaimer: these are predictions and therefore are not factual, however we do tend to know what we are talking about. Contact us to discuss your investment opportunities for the short-let market. 

AirDXB listed as one of 5 best Airbnb management companies in Dubai

First published in TravelMag, 13 February 2023 

If you run an Airbnb in Dubai, and want to reduce your workload while maximising your income, there are a number of management companies standing ready to help.

Despite the emergence of a number of competitors in recent years, Airbnb continues to dominate the home-sharing market. For Airbnb property owners, the challenges of managing the process of letting out their homes to strangers can be extremely time-consuming. If you’re thinking of becoming an Airbnb host in Dubai, or have already taken the plunge, TravelMag picked out five of the best management companies currently operating in the United Arab Emirates.

AirDXB was delighted to be one of those listed.

“AirDXB is one of the top short-let property management companies in Dubai providing an end-to-end service, from property listing through to guest check-in, maintenance, concierge and housekeeping. Founded by Gregory Lewis, a British real estate expert with 20 years’ experience, AirDXB has expanded rapidly due to the strength of their client service, guest relations and 5* reviews. Their homeowners enjoy a 95% occupancy rate, greatly higher than the 43% market average, which is one of the reasons why they have AirBnB ‘Superhost’ status. They also offer bespoke interior design consultations, wrapping services, flooring services, maintenance contracts, fit-outs and renovations.”

Contact us for further information.

 

AirDXB in Khaleej Times: Dubai short-term rental market poised for a surge

First published in the Khaleej Times, 21 January 2023

As Dubai’s real estate sector continues its surge, a number of homeowners who were renting out in the short-term rental space are now moving towards long-term contracts. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, says an expert.

Supply & Demand

“At this moment there is this transition happening — migration of short-term homeowners going to the long-term market. So there’s a reduced supply of short-term rentals available. As a result, rates are bound to go up and the short-term model will become more attractive again,” Gregory Lewis, founder of AirDXB, a premier short-term rentals company in the UAE, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

High Occupancy Levels

Occupancy levels on AirDXB properties saw an aggressive increase compared to the previous year. Noticeably, March saw a 99 per cent occupancy rate. Due to Ramadan, April saw a decline to 87 per cent and this rate was maintained on average throughout summer, beating 2021 for the same period, data showed.

September saw a rise past 90 per cent, and Q4 then sat at an average of 93 per cent. As seen in the previous year, December saw a dip, which can be attributed to many guests holding their travel plans until the New Year celebrations. Over the year, 2022 saw a drop of 0.7 per cent compared to 2021.

In terms of length of stay, 2021 saw almost double the length of average stays compared to 2022 from January to April. “This would suggest more tourists travelled to Dubai for short holidays in 2022 given the easement of Covid-19 restrictions,” an AirDXB report said.

Travel Confidence

From May onwards, 2022 saw lengthier bookings made in comparison averaging around 33 per cent higher than 2021. “This could be attributed to two main reasons; in 2021 with the uncertainty of Covid-19 and the relentless access changes countries made, guests were more active in cancelling bookings. The second reason, with the changing global landscape in 2022, Dubai saw a surge of people wishing to relocate to the city be it for employment, lifestyle or leaving countries of unrest. The average length of stay was up 0.4 days compared to 2021,” the report said.

With confidence for travel growing in 2022, the average booking lead time increased approximately 300 per cent compared to 2021 as guests planned their trips well in advance. In September, guests made more ‘last minute bookings’ than expected with an average booking lead time of 10 days approx. compared to an average of around 20 days  seen earlier in the year. This trend continued until the end of November, AirDXB data showed.

Popular Areas for Short-Term Rentals

The most popular areas for short-term rentals in Dubai continue to be the Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence and Downtown Dubai areas, along with the Bluewaters zone. “While there is a higher supply in these areas the demand has always matched it,” Lewis said. The Palm Jumeirah remains a major hotspot, with new clusters coming onstream. “The value-added proposition at the Palm is stupendous,” Lewis said.

Among the upcoming areas, Lewis pointed out to the Business Bay, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) and Meydan areas. “Business Bay is attractive due to its proximity to Downtown. Travellers can stay just a few blocks away for much less. JVC has great architecture. It’s not quite there yet, but is very close. JLT is quite close to the Marina but rates are lower. Meydan is also very close to the Downtown area, and thus is getting quite popular,” Lewis said.

The future looks bright for the short-term rental space, Lewis said. “The beauty of Dubai is that it attracts people of all types in terms of spend, so there are a lot of categories,” he added. The global financial uncertainties are also attracting attracting a lot of investors to Dubai as well as tourists. “This would all suggest that the future would be good,” Lewis said.

Contact us for further information.

A word from the captain of the ship, Gregory

First and foremost, welcome to AirDXB. I am sure by this time you have read the various services we offer to take all the stress out of hosting your home. I do not wish to repeat what you have already read, I would rather tell you who I am and why I decided to launch this modern and forward-thinking business. Firstly me, hi, I am Greg, the captain of this ship. I started in real estate many years ago, 2001 to be specific. Fresh faced and eager to learn, I started with one of the largest independently owned real estate agencies in the UK, this gave me a good spring board into the world of buying and selling homes to the masses.

My career then took me into privately owned, smaller firms where I was able to spread my wings and was introduced to selling large country manor houses. One word, WOW. I dealt with some of show business’s elite while selling some of England’s finest estates on the South coast. From here I ran and grew the business to incorporate a holiday home department for over 7 years where I learned the true importance of someones’ holiday. Enjoyment and no stress seemed to be key. Coupled with this, I property managed a portfolio of over a 100 properties for an individual. Between the two I learnt the true meaning of customer service and the true meaning of managing peoples’ expectations and their main financial assets.

Not shy of an adventure, Dubai caught my eye for its dynamic and growing real estate sector, not to mention the sun, heat and well, general lack of rain. Having spent many years watching a new building appear monthly, I finally ended up in one of the finest firms on the planet setting new records in real estate transactions. Fun at the time but I was always keen to be part of something new, revolutionary if you will. Now I am not an inventor nor consider myself as the next Bill Gates, but I was definitely not going to be another number in a large corporate firm, queue AirDXB.

How and why did it happen then? Well it is a good story, one of those ‘light bulb’ moments. Having heard and seen the financial potential of renting out my apartment through Airbnb while traveling abroad, I accumulated several guests over a short period of time and earned my 5* rating with personal touches and friendly communication to the numerous nationalities happy to stay in a place I call home. Now, the moment that moved my life in another direction. A cleaner was due to clean and tidy my apartment after a guest left, (a polite young lady I recall who left her slippers behind – I have still got them if you ever want to collect them) in time for the next guest, arriving at 3.30am from Paris. At the time I was in America and trusted my cleaner to do her job. Silly mistake, she did not turn up, my next guest arrived, and the apartment was not clean nor presented in the 5* manner it always has been. The guest, quite rightly, was not happy. The issue was dealt with quickly and effectively and he was actually quite thankful, understanding I had been let down. Driving in the open countryside somewhere in the middle of Texas, I was racking my brains which friend would check on the apartment going forward. At the next Wi-Fi friendly restaurant, I checked online for companies that could offer a host friendly service to either fully manage my home or do the odd request, and I found nothing.

That was it, that was my light bulb moment and I decided to progress the idea in Dubai. This world is moving at such a fast pace and becoming so tech based. Most phones have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter apps and in no time at all Airbnb will take its rightful place beside these tech giants as a must have app given the phenomenal places you can now stay around the world. Airbnb has opened a world of strangers, to become a world of friends. And with this, why not give those hosts that can not manage their homes nor their guests a stress-free option. Or why not allow those investors that do not want to sign a 12-month long term tenancy contract an alternative with better yields – hello AirDXB. We can do that all for you, from the start to explain how Airbnb works and why it will work for you, to how AirDXB makes you the most money in the most effective way, with no stress.

Gregory Lewis