Owners renting to vacationers without valid Holiday Homes license will be fined QR 200,000

Doha: Qatar Tourism has announced an expedited process to issue Holiday Homes licences for residential property owners in Qatar to enlist their units for short-term rentals through popular international websites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Holidayhomes.com and Vrbo.

The entity is receiving a growing number of inquiries on the licensing process from citizens and investors through its website, and has therefore introduced a helpline and simplified process to issue licenses within a week. Qatar Tourism officials noted that property owners who bypass the process and rent their homes to vacationers without a license risk receiving a prison sentence of up to two years and/or a 200,000 QAR fine.

Mohamed Al Ansari, Director of Tourism licensing, commented, “The spirit of hospitality is a distinct feature of Qatari tradition. As we prepare to host visitors from every corner of the world for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, it is our chance to showcase our true essence. Qatar Tourism invites all residential property owners to share our spirit of hospitality while generating extra income from their unused units by simply getting a Holiday Homes license. Steps and requirements needed for the license are available on our website.”

Featured under the E-services section of the corporate website www.qatartourism.com, the Holiday Homes page offers the options for homeowners to either fill in a simple form to request a call back from the Qatar Tourism agents who assist in applying for a license, or follow the steps described in the portal user guide to apply online. Once the application is accepted, a team inspects the unit to finalize the process. The free-of-charge Holiday Homes license is valid for five years and can be renewed to allow property owners to generate extra income by renting out their residential units for short-term use. It also gives them the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and celebrate Qatar’s tradition of hospitality.

To ensure that the visitors constantly get the best experience in the state, Qatar Tourism uses one of the leading Sentiment Analysis Technology in the hospitality industry to access a large number of guests reviews from more than 130 global platforms. Being part of the hospitality sector, Holiday Homes should achieve a minimum score of 75% in guest satisfaction throughout the validity of the license.  Qatar Tourism will continue to monitor this score, giving the chance for those underperforming to take corrective measures; failure to do so will result in a cancellation of the license.