We’ve put together this article to help hosts on Airbnb become familiar with requirements and responsibilities, and to provide a general overview of different laws, regulations, and best practices that may affect hosts across Abu Dhabi. You’re required to follow our guidelines, like our Hosting Standards, and to make sure that you follow the laws and other rules that apply to your specific circumstances and locale.
We recommend that you do your own research as this article isn’t comprehensive and doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. Also, as we don’t update this article in real time, please check each source and make sure that the information provided hasn’t recently changed.
Health and cleanliness
In the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, the implementation of appropriate health and safety measures will be at the heart of the recovery of the tourism sector. Global information about Airbnb’s enhanced cleaning protocol can be found in general info about hosting places to stay.
Aside from the above, Abu Dhabi authorities have put together a resource centre for COVID-19-related matters.
Tax is a complex topic. Your own tax obligations will vary based on your particular circumstances, so we recommend that you research your obligations or consult a tax professional to get more specific information.
The money you earn as a host on Airbnb may be subject to VAT.
A UAE business or a national person may be required to charge VAT on their services if they exceed the mandatory VAT registration threshold of AED375,000. There is also a voluntary registration threshold of AED187,500. No registration threshold applies to non-resident businesses making supplies on which the UAE VAT is required to be charged.
Please refer to the Federal Tax Authority to find out more information on VAT registration and compliance.
A circular (No. 7/2022) was issued by DCT on 28/03/2022 (link here) states that all hosts must:
- Collect and remit a Tourism Fee in the amount of 6% no later than the 15th day of the following month after the fee was due;
- Declare their monthly revenues within the first 5 working days of the following month; and
- Submit financial reports that support the declarations.
DCT may enforce these obligations and audit hosts to verify the accuracy of the declarations, collection and remittance of the Tourism Fee. We encourage you to review the circular for more information and for the details of all obligations imposed by it.
Local Tax Authorities may request Airbnb to provide specific data in respect of certain taxpayers. Airbnb is legally required to provide a limited amount of data about transactions that take place on the Airbnb platform to Local Tax Authorities upon request.
Short-term rental regulations
In 2020, the emirate of Abu Dhabi passed Resolution No. (3) of 2020 governing the provision and use of holiday homes in Abu Dhabi. Following this Resolution, hosts of holiday homes might need to register their properties with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). You can find more information about the basic requirements for operating a holiday home unit in the Guide to the Policies, Standards and Licensing Requirements that DCT Abu Dhabi has published on its website.
Other types of short term rental accommodations (i.e. hotels, hotel apartments) might also be subjected to different regulations in Abu Dhabi, so please check the official website of DCT Abu Dhabi to know more about the classification, licensing regime and specific requirements.
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, or other procedures established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow individuals to rent out their own homes.