Blog

Boost your bookings: Listing vacation rentals on multiple sites
01.2024
While listing your charming cabin, chic city apartment, or cozy beach bungalow on a single platform might entice a focused audience, expanding your reach by listing on multiple rental channels can be a game-changer. But though doing so can bring about many benefits, juggling listings across different platforms requires strategic planning and meticulous organization.   In this piece, we will delve into the reasons you should consider listing your vacation rental on multiple platforms, and explore the three essential actions to take when doing this. Why should you list your property on multiple platforms? Listing your Airbnb property on multiple platforms can be a powerful strategy to boost your bookings and maximize your income. Here are some key reasons why you should consider cross-listing:   Increased exposure and reach: By being on multiple platforms, you tap into different traveler audiences who might not be on Airbnb. Sites like Booking.com, Expedia, Vrbo, and niche platforms cater to specific demographics or travel styles, and can therefore significantly expand your potential guest pool. Higher occupancy rates: With more platforms displaying your listing, you increase the chances of someone booking your property, especially during slower seasons. This can lead to a more consistent income stream and reduce the chances of your property sitting empty. Competition diversification: Different platforms have different fee structures, guest demographics, and booking patterns. By diversifying your presence, you're not reliant on just one platform's algorithm or fee changes to remain profitable. Targeted marketing: As some platforms cater to specific traveler types, you can tailor your listing and pricing to better suit their preferences. This can lead to higher conversion rates and more satisfied guests. Potential for higher rates: With increased competition for your property, you might have more room to negotiate better rates on some platforms. However, we recommend researching individual platform fees and guest expectations to ensure higher rates don't negatively impact bookings. 3 must-dos when multi-listing your vacation rental Here are some crucial elements to keep in mind when casting your rental net into the wide waters of multiple channels:    1. Choose the right platforms Not all platforms are created equal, so understanding your target audience and their booking habits is crucial. Do you cater to a budget-conscious backpacker crowd? Targeting platforms like HostelWorld might be ideal. Craving an upscale clientele? Luxury rental sites like OneFineStay could be your match.   Research guest demographics, pricing structures, and platform fees to select sites that align with your property and pricing strategy. Diversifying your portfolio with a mix of established giants like Airbnb and Booking.com alongside niche platforms catering to specific interests like pet-friendly travel or glamping enthusiasts can further broaden your reach.   At Frank Porter, we list your property on multiple platforms, from Airbnb and Agoda, to Vrbo and Expedia.  And to ensure maximum visibility in Dubai, your property shines on our own dedicated booking platform, attracting guests seeking the city's best stays, from the bustling Downtown to the serene Palm Jumeirah.    2. Keep your listings consistent Imagine finding the perfect vacation rental, only to discover photos and descriptions that vary wildly across different platforms. It's a surefire way to set the stage for disappointment, lowering trust in your listing and creating missed booking opportunities. What’s more, if your listings lack consistency, some platforms' search algorithms might not correctly categorize your property. This means potential guests looking for exactly what you offer might never even see your listing because it's not presented accurately.   The key to success? Embracing consistency. Showcase your property with a uniform set of high-quality photos that spotlight its most enticing features on every listing platform. Write compelling descriptions that highlight unique amenities and the local charm of your neighborhood, using consistent language and keywords. Be sure to update information promptly too, including rates, availability, and house rules.   Based in Dubai and the UAE? Look no further than Frank Porter. Our skilled Listing Management team crafts unique descriptions, optimizes listings for multiple platforms, and keeps everything updated — pool closures, renovations: you name it!    3. Sync your calendars Double bookings are the nightmare of any vacation rental owner. But you can bid goodbye to sleepless nights spent manually updating calendars across multiple platforms by using channel management software. This lets you synchronize your calendar availability across all platforms in real-time, eliminating the risk of overbooking. It also streamlines communication and booking confirmations, freeing you to focus on what truly matters: creating unforgettable guest experiences.   Choosing the best channel manager for your vacation rentals depends on a few factors, like the size of your operation, your budget, and the features you need. However, here are a few of the most popular and well-reviewed options to consider:   Your.Rentals — Simple and affordable, it’s ideal for beginners. Octorate — Revenue-boosting tools for experienced hosts. Smoobu — Budget-friendly for low-volume situations.   And, finally, for a personal touch, opt for Frank Porter. Our dedicated Guest Support Team handles all booking-related matters, from initial enquiries to real-time calendar updates, ensuring that you never under or overbook. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about what Frank Porter can do for you.
Airbnb neighbors rights: 3 strategies for happy hosting
01.2024
Being an Airbnb host can be a real moneyspinner, but unfortunately, it's not all sunshine and five-star reviews. Navigating common problems such as city rules, pesky regulations, and upset neighbors is the true test, and finding the perfect balance is what separates the good hosts from the great.   While it may be impossible to completely shield your neighbors from your Airbnb venture, there are practical steps you can take to ensure peaceful coexistence with them. Say goodbye to noise complaints and mysterious notes under your door with Frank Porter’s guide to neighbor-friendly Airbnb hosting. What rights do your immediate neighbors have? Your neighbors have certain rights regarding your Airbnb property. These can vary depending on factors like location, local ordinances, zoning, and lease agreements. However, in general, neighbors have the right to:   Peaceful enjoyment of their property: This means your guests cannot create excessive noise, disturbances, or interfere with their privacy or safety. Complain if there are issues: If your guests are causing problems, neighbors can complain to you, Airbnb, or local authorities. Enforce noise ordinances: If guests violate noise rules, neighbors can report them. Use common areas: If your property shares common areas, neighbors have the right to use them without unreasonable restrictions from guests. Privacy: Neighbors have a right to expect privacy from your guests.   Remember, these rights can change depending on where you live, local rules, and agreements made with your landlord (if you rent). If you have specific concerns, it's always best to consult with a local lawyer or your local government to get accurate and up-to-date information. 3 smart moves for smooth short-term rentals Protecting neighbors' rights when renting out your property isn't just courtesy, it's smart. Respecting noise levels, parking, and property boundaries fosters a peaceful community, increases tenant satisfaction, and reduces the risk of costly complaints and legal issues. Happy neighbors become reliable allies, keeping an eye on your property and potentially alerting you to problems early on. It's a win-win: peaceful living for all and a smoother experience for you.   So, with that in mind, here are three top tips for keeping your neighbors on your side:    1. Share your Airbnb plans Open and transparent communication is your bedrock. Before listing your property, inform your immediate neighbors about your plans. Explain your hosting guidelines, address potential concerns, and answer any questions openly. This proactive approach fosters understanding and builds trust — vital assets when navigating potential issues later down the line.   Here's how to explain your Airbnb plans with clarity and consideration:   Don't wait for neighbors to stumble upon your listing: Choose a convenient time and approach them directly. This personal touch shows respect and initiative. Start with empathy: Acknowledge their potential concerns about noise, parking, or unfamiliarity with Airbnb. For example, you could phrase it as, 'I know some people have questions about short-term rentals, and I wanted to be upfront about my plans…'. Explain your vision: Briefly describe your Airbnb space and the type of guests you expect. Are you focusing on solo travelers, families, or professionals? Highlighting responsible guests can ease anxieties. Highlight the benefits: Mention that Airbnb guests can bring positive economic impact to the neighborhood, supporting local businesses and restaurants. Let your neighbors know they can contact you: Offer your phone number or email address and ensure they feel comfortable voicing their thoughts.   Remember, clear communication and a proactive approach can go a long way in mitigating concerns and building positive relationships with your neighbors.    2. Keep the noise down! With open doors often comes unwelcome noise, potentially straining relations with your neighbors.   To avoid disrupting your neighbors, prevention is the best cure. When screening potential guests, pay close attention to positive reviews that specifically mention respectfulness and consideration for others. This initial step sets the tone for a peaceful stay.   Then, when your guests arrive, tip them off about any shared walls, paper-thin flooring, or sound-sensitive neighbors. Take this opportunity to reiterate noise expectations and provide clear guidelines in your guest handbook for respectful behavior. Use specific examples to illustrate what is considered acceptable and stress the importance of sticking to these guidelines throughout their stay.   If you’re away from the property and you have particularly sensitive neighbors, you can embrace smart technology to help keep the peace. Consider installing noise monitoring devices that send automatic messages to guests during quiet hours, like a friendly reminder on their phone. While visitors shouldn't feel spied on, this data can be helpful for addressing any potential issues constructively. “The intention with noise monitoring is to avoid serious noise-related consequences, not to stop short-term-rental guests from enjoying their vacation,” NoiseAware emphasizes. It also protects guests and landlords against false noise complaints, which, though rare, do happen.    3. Respond promptly to concerns Even with your best efforts, however, guest problems can still arise, and being able to placate your neighbors is key. To ensure your Airbnb venture thrives in a neighbor-friendly environment, proactive problem resolution is crucial. This goes above mere damage control, serving as a means to build bridges and earn respect within the local hosting scene.    When dealing with minor issues, use words and a personal touch. Draft a sincere apology note, or better yet, say it in person, acknowledging disruptions and expressing your firm commitment to finding solutions. Amp it up by pairing it with a tangible peace offering — perhaps a thoughtful bouquet or bottle of local vino, for example.   In cases of major disruptions caused by guests, act swiftly and decisively. Show your neighbors that you prioritize their peace by promptly addressing disruptive behavior, like by evicting guests responsible for excessive noise or disturbance. You’ll be pleased to know that Airbnb backs hosts in enforcing neighborhood-friendly policies.   By seeking and acting upon your neighbors' feedback, you're not just mitigating potential problems; you're building trust, fostering a sense of community, and setting yourself up for long-term hosting success. We hope that this guide has made you feel better about protecting your neighbor’s rights when living next door to your Airbnb property. But if you need additional help with things like house rules and guest communication, Frank Porter is here to help. We provide a range of Airbnb support services for Dubai hosts — get in touch to learn more.
Frank Porter’s guide to exploring nature in Dubai
01.2024
To be Frank, Dubai is not the first destination that comes to mind when it comes to nature watching. Unless of course you're counting on spotting a wild influencer or two amid the sand dunes.    But while it's true that the City of Gold is a breathtaking manmade metropolis, it's also home to natural wonders that can captivate the heart of any wildlife lover. Beyond the glass, chrome, and brick, Dubai offers a surprising array of natural attractions that allow visitors to reconnect with the environment.   In this article, we'll explore five of the top sightseeing opportunities for those looking to enjoy nature in Dubai.  Big Red sand dune Just a short drive from the city center, the Big Red sand dune, also known as Al Hamar, stands as a testament to the desert's timeless beauty. This colossal sand dune is a favorite among thrill-seekers for its towering heights, making it ideal for dune bashing and sand boarding adventures. For those who prefer a more peaceful experience, the dune offers breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape — especially during sunrise and sunset.    Dubai Miracle Garden In contrast to the arid desert landscape, Dubai Miracle Garden is a colorful oasis of floral beauty. Located in the heart of the city, this enchanting garden is home to over 150 million flowers, arranged in a variety of stunning displays, arches, and sculptures.  Visiting during the blooming season (which typically runs from November to April) offers an explosion of colors, fragrances, and a chance to immerse yourself in one of the best natural attractions in Dubai.   Umm Al Quwain wetlands Just a short drive north of Dubai lies the Umm Al Quwain wetlands, a Ramsar-listed site and haven for nature enthusiasts. This protected area comprises a variety of ecosystems, including lagoons, mudflats, and salt flats. It also serves as an essential stopover for migratory birds on their journey between Europe and Africa, and exploring the wetlands will give you an opportunity to witness a multitude of bird species in their natural habitat. These include flamingos, herons, and waders.   Hatta Dam Hatta Dam is a hidden jewel located within the Hajar Mountains, just a couple of hours' drive from Dubai. Surrounded by rugged terrain, the dam offers a tranquil retreat with opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and hiking. The stunning backdrop of the mountains and calm waters makes it an ideal spot to unwind, soak in the natural beauty, and picnic by the waterside.   Jubail Mangrove Park For a tranquil escape from the city's hustle and bustle, head to the Jubail Mangrove Park. Located in the eastern part of Abu Dhabi, just a short drive from Dubai, this protected area is paradise for nature lovers and birdwatchers. Explore the winding boardwalks that meander through lush mangrove forests and enjoy a unique opportunity to witness the delicate balance of ecosystems. Kayaking through the mangroves is also a popular way to get up close and personal with this natural wonder.   From towering sand dunes to mountainous escapes, Dubai offers a little something for every nature lover. These hidden gems provide an excellent opportunity to reconnect with nature, offering a perfect balance to the city's finely filtered glamor and glitz. So, for the green-fingered explorer looking for a different side of Dubai, these natural wonders are waiting to be discovered. So, that’s our guide on exploring nature in Dubai! For more inspiration as you venture further into the wilderness, take a look at our blog on how to spend 72 hours in Dubai right.
Airbnb Rooms: What is it and how could you benefit?
01.2024
In the ever-evolving world of short-term rentals and vacation accommodations, Airbnb continues to pave the way for innovative solutions that benefit both hosts and guests. One of their latest offerings, Airbnb Rooms, promises to revolutionise the hosting experience.    In this article, we'll introduce you to Airbnb Rooms, explore its exciting new features, and reveal how we at Frank Porter can enhance your Airbnb Rooms hosting journey. What is Airbnb Rooms? Airbnb started as a way for people to stay in other people’s homes, offering the opportunity to experience life like a local with the added benefit of a reduced room rate. While many guests now rent out whole apartments or residences for private use, Airbnb Rooms is a way to go back to the original ethos of Airbnb and offer up not only a more affordable way to travel but also the opportunity to meet new people.   This feature provides hosts with even more tools and options to enhance their guests' experience. Hosts can create memorable stays by offering private rooms or distinctive areas within their homes or properties. For guests, the introduction of the Host Passport helps them get to know their Host before booking their stay, with the aim of ensuring guests feel comfortable throughout. Host Passport One of the standout features of Airbnb Rooms is the Host Passport, a powerful tool that not only streamlines the hosting process but also enhances the personal connection between hosts and guests.    Host Passport is more than just a practical tool; it's a way to foster trust and ensure that both hosts and guests have a comfortable and memorable experience. Host Passport allows hosts to introduce themselves in a more personal and engaging way.    Through this feature, hosts can share their background, interests, and any special details about the property that make it unique. This personalised introduction helps guests feel more comfortable and connected even before they arrive at your Airbnb Room. It's an opportunity to create a sense of anticipation and familiarity, making guests feel like they're staying with a friend rather than a stranger. New Rooms Category The Rooms feature is easy to access as a search category on the usual Airbnb dashboard (both on the website and app). This features a curated set of 1 million private bedrooms, with a list of shared spaces as well, including things like a shared kitchen, garden or living room.    Filters have also been redesigned, including the ‘type of place’ filter which helps you view the Rooms option easily, as well as comparing prices of entire homes and rooms.    There are also new privacy features that will clearly indicate if the bedroom door has a lock, whether the bathrooms are shared or private, and whether the Host will be hosting any other people in their home during your stay. All of this is designed to make the guest feel as safe and comfortable as possible. How Frank Porter can help you manage Airbnb Rooms Frank Porter specialises in Airbnb management services for property owners in Dubai, offering an array of solutions tailored to your needs. This extends to the new Airbnb Rooms feature, where we can assist in the following ways:   Listing Management: Our expert team handles everything, from creating and updating Rooms listings to capturing top-quality photos and crafting unique property descriptions that make your private rooms stand out. We will continuously monitor and update listings across various channels, ensuring accurate information and addressing any changes like property upgrades promptly. Our pricing specialists use a combination of algorithms and manual adjustments to keep your property competitively priced, considering factors like seasonality, supply, holidays, and world events.   Cleaning and Maintenance: We offer a comprehensive Airbnb cleaning and maintenance service designed to ensure your property is in impeccable condition for your guests' comfort and satisfaction. Our in-house maintenance team takes care of various tasks, including A/C repairs, water heater replacements, painting touch-ups, light bulb changes and more, ensuring your property remains in tip top shape.We also take care of refreshing and refilling essential guest amenities such as towels, linens, toiletries, coffee, tea, and other essentials at every check-in. Interior Design: Frank Porter's Airbnb Interior Design services offer a range of tailored solutions to transform your property into an inviting and functional space perfect for short-term rentals. Our  'Full Project' package furnishes and styles properties comprehensively, from furniture to guest essentials, with a turnaround time of two to four weeks. Alternatively, the 'Styling Project' option allows for budget-friendly upgrades, completed in as little as one week, ideal for partly furnished properties. Management Support: Our property management support teams are structured for maximum efficiency and dedicated support to both hosts and guests. For guests, we can provide round-the-clock assistance, from initial inquiries to check-in and ongoing support in multiple languages, ensuring an exceptional experience. For hosts, our support teams handle all things related to government compliance, operational tasks, permit renewals, revenue optimisation. We hope this has given you an insight into Airbnb’s new venture, and how Frank Porter can help you be the best host. Whether you've been in the industry for a while and are looking to elevate your Airbnb Rooms listings or you’re an aspiring host ready to embark on this exciting journey, we are here to help you create memorable stays and lasting connections.
How to handle a bad Airbnb review
01.2024
Ah, Airbnb hosting — a wonderful world filled with eccentric guests, unconventional spaces, and the odd life-altering curveball in the form of a bad review.   Unfortunately, no host is immune to negative reviews, and that's perfectly okay. After all, it's in these moments of criticism that we find the opportunities to improve and grow as hosts.   In this guide, we'll walk you through the art of crafting responses that not only address the concerns of disgruntled guests, but also show off your dedication to providing a Airbnb experience to return to. Let’s jump in. Why are good reviews important? In the Airbnb world, great reviews serve as a golden seal of approval, building trust, making your place stand out, and potentially propelling you toward that oh-so coveted Superhost status.   On the flip side, a track record of less-than-stellar reviews can signal underlying issues in need of attention, potentially dissuading prospective guests.   Unfortunately, there are times when even four-star reviews can end up feeling like negative feedback. This isn't to say that your Airbnb property or hosting falls short — it's more a reflection of the expectations within the Airbnb community, where five-star ratings are a symbol of a truly exceptional experience and a high level of trust.   Considering Airbnb's sky-high standards, it's worth knowing how to handle a bad review should the worst come to worst, and this is exactly what we’ll explore in the next section. How to respond to a bad review Find out why Before you leap into action, it's important to understand the ‘why’ behind that unfavorable review. Be honest with yourself here: did you forget to mention the noisy neighbors? Did you go above — but not beyond? Was there a major communication hiccup, or something else out of your control? Whatever it was, these things happen.   Once you believe you've pinpointed the problem, you can take steps to address it. Keep a cool head You've poured your heart and soul into creating a truly remarkable Airbnb experience. So, it's completely understandable that when a negative review pops up, it can feel disheartening, and even insulting. However, it's crucial not to view a negative review as a personal attack.   Instead, try to distance your emotions from the critique and see it as a valuable chance to make your Airbnb even better. Respond promptly Airbnb provides a generous 30-day window for your reply, but the sooner you respond, the better — you don’t want your guests to feel left on read!   So, take a moment to collect your thoughts, and then craft your response with a personal touch. If you keep giving the same cookie-cutter replies or seem like you're just copy-pasting apologies, it can make it look like you're not really connecting with the person you're talking to. This can make your guests or customers feel unimportant, when your main goal is to address their unique concerns and make them feel valued. Offer an apology As the old adage goes, “the customer is always right.” And in the world of Airbnb, this could not be more true — it's essential to offer an apology for any inconvenience they've faced. This demonstrates your genuine commitment to making your guests happy.   Even if the complaint seems a bit ‘off’ or is just a matter of their perspective, it's still important to show empathy and apologize for how your guests might have felt. Acknowledge the problem Just saying sorry is a good start, but it falls short of what guests really appreciate. To build back confidence, it's vital to address and resolve the problem(s) they've encountered. This is especially important if you’re going to win over those potential future guests who are thinking about booking with you.   Take those noisy neighbors, for example. Let your guests know that you've been proactive in tackling this issue. You could mention that you've added a warning about potential noise in your property description and have kindly spoken with the neighbors to request quiet hours after 10 pm. End on a positive note Even when the review is negative, it's essential to thank the guest for sharing their feedback. This lets them know you value their opinion and are eager to make your business better.    At this point, you might think about offering a solution, like a partial refund, discount on their next stay, or fixing anything that got damaged. Are Airbnb reviews permanent? Yes and no. Once a guest submits a review, it becomes a part of the host's public profile, and both the guest and host are unable to delete or edit their reviews without Airbnb's involvement.   However, if a review violates Airbnb's review content policy (e.g. it contains hate speech, personal information, or is fraudulent), you can report it. If you’re lucky, Airbnb will investigate and potentially remove the review. Guests also have the option to request the removal of reviews, especially if the issue has been resolved. Bid goodbye to bad Airbnb reviews with Frank Porter Remember, the key to avoiding bad reviews is giving your guests a fantastic experience. With guest management services like Frank Porter, you can ensure every guest leaves with a smile and a desire to rave about their stay.   Frank Porter takes care of every little detail to make sure your guests have the best experience. We handle everything from thorough cleaning and home staging to managing your listing. Plus, we go the extra mile with top-notch customer support for your guests throughout their stay.   So, why wait? Let's work together to elevate your guest experience and watch those five-star reviews pour in.
Our complete guide to Downtown Dubai
01.2024
Dubai, the gleaming gem of the United Arab Emirates, is renowned for its dazzling skyline, extravagant lifestyle, and unbridled opulence. At the very heart of the city's splendor lies Downtown Dubai, a hub that captures the essence of both modernity and tradition.    In this article, we'll uncover the best things to do in Downtown Dubai, from sightseeing and activities to dining and relaxation. Get ready for an exciting journey as we explore this dynamic district. About Downtown Dubai Downtown Dubai is one of the most iconic and modern urban developments in the world, known for its impressive skyline, upscale lifestyle, and world-class attractions. Before its development, the area was primarily a desert landscape. In the late 20th century, Dubai's leadership, led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, envisioned transforming the city into a global hub for business, culture, and tourism.   The overhaul of the area began in the early 21st century when Emaar Properties, one of the UAE's largest real estate developers, took on the ambitious project. Known for its grand, innovative developments, the firm ambitiously converted the desert surrounding the Burj Khalifa into what is now known as Downtown Dubai.   Today, the district is not only a commercial and residential zone but also a major tourist destination. It has become synonymous with luxury travel, and it continues to be a symbol of Dubai's rapid urban development and global aspirations. Where is Downtown Dubai? Downtown Dubai is located right in the heart of the City of Gold. This is in the northern part of the city, along the Sheikh Zayed Road, which is one of Dubai's main highways. You'll find it close to Business Bay to the south, Dubai International Financial Centre to the northeast, and neighborhoods like Al Safa and Al Wasl to the west.    From Downtown Dubai, you'll spot sights including the astonishing Burj Khalifa, the sprawling Dubai Mall, and the picture-perfect Dubai Fountain. Things to do in Downtown Dubai Sightseeing and landmarks Downtown Dubai boasts a plethora of captivating sightseeing activities and iconic landmarks, including the following. Burj Khalifa The Burj Khalifa is an iconic skyscraper that stands at 828 meters (2,717 feet) tall. It's not only the world’s tallest building, but an engineering marvel and a symbol of Dubai's modernity and ambition. The 124th-floor deck, known as ‘At the Top', offers incredible panoramic views of the city and the surrounding desert, which are particularly stunning during sunset and at night when the city is illuminated. Museum of the Future Welcome to the year 2071! Experience mind-boggling advancements in fields like robotics, virtual reality, and biotechnology at the Museum of the Future, a 77-meter torus-shaped marvel. Beyond its entertainment value, the museum serves as an educational hub, inspiring visitors to think critically about the choices they make today and their impact on tomorrow. Dubai Fountain The Dubai Fountain stands as one of the world's most renowned and captivating water features. Crafted by the same minds responsible for the iconic Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, this spectacle, located outside The Dubai Mall, attracts hordes of spectators. It’s earned its fame from its impressive choreographed water and light shows synchronized to music. Dining and nightlife Discover the best food, nightlife, and bars in Downtown Dubai with our top picks. Secret Garden Dine, drink, and dance the night away at Secret Garden, where the dense cityscape meets lush, untouched greenery. Enjoy a vibrant atmosphere while savoring globally inspired cuisine, including rustic salads, mouthwatering sushi, and fresh seafood. You can also unwind on the chic rooftop terrace, indulging in shisha beneath Dubai's starry sky. The Eloquent Elephant Expats, beer lovers, and alliteration fans will find themselves right at home at The Eloquent Elephant, a charming neighborhood gastropub and restaurant in Downtown Dubai. Here, you can enjoy a menu filled with classic British dishes while sipping on a variety of craft hops. Don't miss out on their quiz nights, live music, and boozy weekend brunches. Karak House Searching for the best breakfast in Downtown Dubai? Look no further than Karak House, which has your mornings covered. Here, you can indulge in a diverse all-day breakfast menu that marries the rich, traditional flavors of Emirati cuisine with a modern twist. Enjoy Arabic coffee, shawarma, and other Middle Eastern delights in a welcoming and unpretentious atmosphere. Relaxation and wellness Downtown Dubai offers a range of relaxation activities to help visitors unwind and enjoy their time in this vibrant urban area. Here are some popular relaxation options: The Palace Experience pure luxury at The Spa at Palace Downtown Dubai, where you'll find everything you need for a truly regal pampering session. From its oriental bathhouse and Jacuzzis to monsoon showers, steam rooms, and a tranquil lounge, it promises an exceptional getaway that somehow manages to exceed expectations. Embody Fitness Our top choice for gyms in Downtown Dubai is Embody Fitness, a cutting-edge personal training center renowned for its roster of Olympic athletes and world-class trainers. With a dedicated team of expert fitness coaches, nutritionists, and sports therapists available around the clock, this gym guarantees a comprehensive rejuvenation experience from top to toe. Sofitel Spa The Sofitel Spa provides the perfect blend of modern luxury and ancient wellness traditions, offering a sanctuary for travelers and locals alike. Choose from six treatment rooms for an invigorating massage, or indulge in a rejuvenating 3-Teas purifying body wrap for a deep sense of renewal. So, that's the rundown on Downtown Dubai! If you haven’t yet found your perfect homestay in the city, be sure to check out our range of Airbnb rentals here.
7 of the best vegan restaurants in Dubai
09.2023
Welcome to the vibrant culinary scene of Dubai, where innovation and gastronomic creativity converge to offer an unforgettable dining experience. Amid the towering skyscrapers and soaring sand dunes, the city of gold has embraced veganism with open arms. If you're a connoisseur of herbivore cuisine or simply looking to embark on a flavourful journey of cruelty-free delights, you're in for a plant-based treat. In this guide, we'll unveil seven of the best vegan restaurants in Dubai, each a testament to the city's commitment to sustainable, ethical, and incredibly delicious dining. From chic and modern eateries to cosy and intimate cafes, Dubai's vegan offerings are as diverse as the city itself. So, prepare to tantalise your taste buds as we explore the culinary masterpieces that these seven vegan hotspots have to offer. Let’s jump right in. SEVA Table An ideal location for savouring plant-based cuisine within a lush green environment, SEVA Table is possibly the most renowned vegan eatery in Dubai. Not just a restaurant, but a holistic wellness centre that promotes a healthy lifestyle on all fronts, the city centre vegan cafe offers a menu of delicious dishes. From colourful salads and nourishing noodles, to tasty vegan wraps and delectable desserts, its offerings prioritise fresh and organic ingredients in every dish. Brambles Brambles is an inviting cafe that offers a diverse range of plant-based dishes. Its menu features a tempting selection of options, from classic comfort food to innovative creations that showcase the versatility of vegan ingredients. The cafe’s ambience is known for being relaxing and rustic, making it a popular spot for both casual and special occasions. Just Vegan From its inception, Just Vegan has been committed to providing a menu that not only caters to vegans but also omnivores seeking delicious plant-based options. The restaurant's mission revolves around presenting familiar dishes in new and exciting ways, with its menu including a diverse range of popular items like shakshouka, burgers, pizzas, curries, and more. Bounty Beets Bounty Beets beckons with its vibrant and captivating dining menu that practically begs to be showcased on Instagram. The menu features a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options, including acai bowls, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and more. The restaurant is known for its creative twists on classic dishes, such as vegan 'crab' cakes and beetroot burgers, while Bounty Beets’s dessert selection is a celebration of plant-based sweetness, featuring delightful creations like cheesecakes and energy bites. Wild & The Moon As an international chain with a presence in Dubai, Wild & The Moon is known globally for its commitment to organic and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant boasts a remarkable variety of salads, sandwiches, and breakfast options that are available throughout the day. Additionally, there are divine plant-based desserts on offer, in the shape of doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, and banana bread, among other choices. Little Erth Little Erth by NABZ&G is a hidden gem nestled in the bustling heart of Dubai, where plant-based cuisine takes centre stage. Beyond its renowned vegan mac n' cheese — crafted from a blend of pumpkin, miso paste, roasted garlic, and coconut cream — this eatery stands as a beacon for the plant-based community by offering an array of palate-pleasing dishes, including everything from fattoush to chickpea salad. So, if you're in search of a place where vibrant flavours and ethical dining converge, Little Erth is undoubtedly a destination worth exploring. Planet Terra Planet Terra stands out as a unique destination that marries a genuine commitment to organic practices with the pleasures of vegan dining. Drawing inspiration from the culinary experiences discovered by its globe-trotting chefs, the restaurant captures the essence of different cultures through flavours, traditions, and eco-conscious recipes. Did we mention that it’s dog friendly? Adding to its charm is the inviting outdoor terrace, where furry friends are welcomed with open arms. So, that's the scoop on the most delectable vegan food in Dubai! For an extra serving of culinary inspiration, explore our blog post featuring five of the most unique dining experiences you can find in the city. And if you’re looking for world-class Dubai Airbnb management services, be sure to get in contact.  
COP28: How to create an environmentally responsible Airbnb experience
09.2023
In recent years, the pressing concern of climate change has caused us to adopt sustainable practices in almost every facet of our lives. As the world grapples with the need for fast and wide-reaching environmental action, attention is being directed towards large-scale events such as the Conference of Parties (COP) 28, which this year will be hosted by the UAE. In November 2023, leaders, activists, and climate experts from around the world will come together at Expo City Dubai for two weeks of intense discussions to boost efforts in tackling the climate crisis. As COP28 draws ever closer, the hospitality sector is under growing pressure to meet the 19 goals established by Dubai Sustainable Tourism. These include a range of criteria, all aimed at fostering sustainable living: from enhancing energy and water efficiency to implementing effective waste management programs. While Airbnbs might manage to evade certain levels of scrutiny as private properties, it's just as vital to shine a light on smaller, localized spheres where impactful changes can take root. Here we explore how Airbnb property owners like yourself can create an environmentally-conscious experience and contribute towards sustainable tourism ahead of COP28. Make recycling simple Understanding recycling and waste separation can be a bit of a puzzle for your guests, given that it’s handled differently from place to place. That's why dedicating a few moments to explaining recycling practices in your home can have a positive environmental impact. If you haven't taken this step yet, a great starting point is to do some research about the types of materials that can be recycled in your local area. Then, create a designated space where your guests can easily sort their waste — this should ideally be easily accessible and visible, so your guests are reminded to properly sort their items. To make the process even more user-friendly, consider using labels or bins of different colors to separate the various types of materials. For instance, you could have one bin for paper, another for plastic, a different color bin for glass, one for cans, and another for food waste. These visual cues can help guests quickly identify where each type of waste should go, making recycling a seamless experience. Compost food waste Speaking of efficient disposal, food waste presents a significant challenge in the UAE. An enormous 38% of the food prepared here on a daily basis ends up being thrown away. Then, as it breaks down in landfills, it releases methane gas — a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In response to this critical issue, the UAE has introduced the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative (Ne'ma) with the target of reducing food waste by 50% before 2030. There are many easy ways to contribute towards this as an Airbnb property owner. For example, instead of letting your guests just toss leftovers in the bin, you can get them to compost leftover food and turn it into fertilizer. As OddBox points out, it’s easy to make your own compost heap, even if you have no garden, as all you need is a few basic household items such as a small container with a lid, shredded newspaper, and fruit and vegetable scraps. To bring your guests on board, remember to highlight the importance of composting and guidance on how to do so in your guest handbook. When visitors understand the process, they're more likely to actively participate and help to do their bit to help the planet. Upgrade lighting Lastly, don't overlook the importance of lighting in your Airbnb property. Opting for energy-efficient bulbs can make a big difference in cutting down your energy usage and being kinder to the environment. One smart move is to switch to LED (Light Emitting Diode) lightbulbs, which boast countless benefits compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs have an impressive lifespan — often lasting up to 50,000 hours or more. This means fewer replacements, plus diminished waste and reduced demand for the manufacturing of new bulbs, which in turn conserves resources and reduces the environmental impact of lighting. Naturally, this also means you'll need to replace LED bulbs far less frequently, cutting ongoing maintenance and replacement costs. What’s more, LEDs emit very little heat while producing light. This not only makes them safer to handle but also contributes to a cooler indoor environment. As a result, you may find yourself relying a little less on air conditioning, leading to additional energy savings. Final thoughts Your commitment to sustainable tourism can ripple through the Airbnb community, inspiring others to make conscious choices. As COP28 underscores the urgency of global warming, let's seize the opportunity to create positive change, one booking at a time. For more inspiration, don't miss our blog on sustainable living in Dubai.
Is Airbnb legal in Dubai? What you need to know
08.2023
Dubai, which is renowned for its towering skyscrapers, luxury shopping, and vibrant cultural scene, attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year. With the continuous surge of visitors, alternative accommodation options like Airbnb have hugely grown in popularity in the city. In fact, Dubai stands out as the most profitable city in the world for Airbnb landlords. So the answer to the question of whether Airbnb is legal in Dubai, is that, yes, it absolutely is. However, to ensure the safety, security, and responsible use of short-term rentals, the Dubai government has implemented specific guidelines for Airbnb hosts and guests. If you're considering embarking on an Airbnb hosting journey in Dubai, complying with the city's guidelines is paramount. By doing so, you can ensure your guests enjoy an unforgettable stay while also contributing to Dubai's reputation as a world-class hospitality destination. Ignoring or flouting these guidelines can lead to severe consequences, including hefty fines and legal penalties. Here, we present a comprehensive guide to Dubai's Airbnb guidelines, equipping you with all the essential information you need before welcoming travelers from all corners of the globe into your home. Regulations for Airbnb hosts Below, you will find everything you need to know about the regulations as an Airbnb host in Dubai. Rental Permits Before listing their property on Airbnb, hosts must obtain a short-term holiday home rental permit from Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). This permit ensures that the property meets safety and quality standards set by the authorities. Failure to comply with these licensing regulations can result in hefty fines or legal consequences. Tourism Dirham Fee Airbnb hosts are required to collect the Tourism Dirham fee from guests. This nightly fee is imposed on tourists staying in various types of accommodations, and hosts must remit it to the DET as mandated by law. The fee amount varies based on the property type and rating. Tax Obligations Hosts are responsible for fulfilling their own tax obligations on the income generated from Airbnb rentals. This involves declaring rental income and paying applicable taxes according to regulations set by the Dubai Economic Department or relevant tax authorities. Whole Unit Rental According to DET rules, holiday home units must be rented as a whole and cannot be shared with the owner or other guests. This rule aims to regulate and standardize the holiday home rental market, ensuring fairness for both owners and guests. No Objection Certificate Tenants hoping to rent out their rental home must obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the property owner. This official document serves as permission, allowing the tenants to lease the property to short-term guests during their absence. Health and Safety Measures To ensure the safety of guests, hosts must adhere to strict health and safety standards. This includes providing functioning smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and complying with electrical and structural safety requirements. Maintain Accurate Guest Records Hosts must keep precise records of guests' information, including passport copies, visa details, and contact information. These records may be required by the DET for inspection purposes, and they should be retained for at least 12 months. Prohibition of Illegal Activities Guests must be informed that engaging in illegal activities, such as drug use or property damage, is strictly prohibited in Dubai's Airbnb properties. Moreover, alcohol consumption in non-licensed accommodations like Airbnb properties is generally not allowed. Compliance with Social Rules Dubai's regulatory framework also emphasizes the importance of adhering to social rules. This means guests should avoid disruptive behavior like causing excessive noise or disturbances within residential neighborhoods, and show consideration for others. Starting your rental journey might appear daunting at first, but there's no need to be discouraged. With Frank Porter by your side, the complexities of managing your listing on Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms are effortlessly handled on your behalf. For instance, our proficient accounting team ensures all financial aspects of renting your property, such as payments, platform fees, taxes, and insurance, are taken care of, guaranteeing a smooth and hassle-free experience for you. Meanwhile, you can trust our admin support team to expertly handle compliance with Dubai's government regulations. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about what Frank Porter can do for you.
Summer-proof your Airbnb: Essential steps to prepare for your surge in bookings
07.2023
Spurred on by school holidays, last-minute wanderlust and an increase in outdoor events, as an Airbnb host you’re likely to experience an influx of enquiries and bookings in the lead up to and during the summer months. To ensure you get the most out of your listing, and ultimately secure and increase bookings, it’s best to get ahead of the surge by prepping in advance. Follow the simple steps below to optimise your offering, streamline your processes and stand out from the competition. Enhance your Airbnb listing Review and update your listing description and photos: When viewing listings online, most customers are drawn to photos primarily, then on to the description. Keep your listing relevant this summer with simple tricks; highlight photos of outdoor spaces, update the description with summer-friendly amenities, and check your listing appears when relative filters are selected. Spotlight summer-specific features: Make sure to spotlight any areas where guests can enjoy sun or lighter evenings, for example a balcony or rooftop. This can be a game changer when booking a summer stay. If your property is situated close to a beach, park or swimming pool, ensure it’s included in the description. Optimise pricing strategies for high-demand periods: It’s beneficial to have a good knowledge of events taking place in the local area, in order to capitalise on the demand for your listing. When an event is announced you can expect guests to book months in advance, so sign up to local media alerts to keep informed of what’s happening. Top tip: To stand out from the competition, consider using a professional photographer. With their expertise, you can show off your property to its full potential – especially if you have hard-to-capture outdoor areas or unique spaces. Manage bookings and scheduling Update your availability and implement a reliable booking system: By having a visible, up-to-date calendar on the booking page potential guests will be able to see quickly and clearly if their desired dates are available. Making the customer journey as seamless and stress-free as possible increases the likelihood of securing a booking. Set minimum and maximum stay requirements: Streamline your bookings by controlling listing availability. By making select weeks available and blocking out set timeframes, it will be easier to manage bookings and predict income. Remember, it may not always be cost or time effective to cater for one-night stays. Top tip: If your property is listed on multiple sites, make sure your booking system collects and syncs bookings from all sites. Check that once a booking has been made, the availability has been updated on all listings. Streamline communication Set up automated messaging and response systems: Many systems will now send an automatic text or email to a guest once a property has been booked successfully. Communicating with your guest early on creates reassurance around their booking and opens the line of contact. Create clear and detailed house rules and instructions: Preparing a property guide or a welcome pack for guests will make them feel welcome and catered for. It’s also a friendly way of communicating any additional instructions you have, for example where to leave the key when they leave. Prepare for potential guest inquiries and requests: Anticipate frequently asked questions and provide any need-to-know information about the property. Go above and beyond by communicating tips about the local area, including food and drink recommendations, taxi numbers and advice about local amenities. Top tip: Checking in with your guest once they have settled in is a great way of making them feel welcome; it can be as simple as a text or email to check everything is ok. Cleaning and maintenance Deep clean and declutter your Airbnb: Keeping your property presentable and clean not only makes it easier to switch between bookings, but also ensures the safety of your guests. Although it’s recommended to keep your property decluttered, don’t be afraid to express your unique style! This is often what attracts guests to a listing. Check and maintain essential appliances and systems: Guests’ safety should always be a priority. As a host, you should regularly test any alarm and security systems you have in place. Make sure to also act on any observations or feedback about appliances, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. Top tip: Using a dedicated cleaning and maintenance service like Frank Porter’s can alleviate any stress between guest switchovers and ensures your property is maintained at a high standard. Partner with local services Establish relationships with local tourism agencies and nearby businesses: Working in partnership with local services is beneficial for everyone – your guests can enjoy the latest in local produce, amenities and activities, giving them a unique experience whilst staying at your property. As a host, networking and building your reputation amongst businesses in the community can lead to recommendations and ultimately more bookings. Top tip: Don’t be afraid to check in regularly with new and existing businesses in the area (especially if they are independent). Whether it’s dropping by or sending a message online – communicating that you have recommended their services is key to building a business relationship.
Dubai Ranks Among Best Cities To Be An Airbnb Host
05.2023
Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and while there are plenty of luxury hotels for guests to pick from, travellers also have countless choices if they’d prefer to stay in an Airbnb. According to a survey by Inkifi, Dubai was one of the top 10 cities with the most Airbnb listings in 2022. There are lots of reasons that Dubai ranks within the best Airbnb markets, so if you’re considering becoming a host in the desirable UAE city, here are three of the key benefits of choosing this destination. Dubai is the most profitable Airbnb city in the world A survey conducted by UK-based landlord insurance company CIA Landlords found that Dubai was the most profitable Airbnb city in the world in 2022, provided owners purchased properties near Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building). According to CIA Landlords, they can earn an average of £930 per night and therefore break even on their investment in just four months. “The average price to buy an apartment in the city is £112,624, meaning just 121 nights need to be sold for this cost to be earned back,” the company explains. “However, this is only a profitable location for landlords who have a property near Burj Khalifa, as those further away rent for just £181 per night.” We’ve written more about the financial benefits of becoming a Dubai Airbnb host and can also help you maximise your profits with our listing support services, ensuring your property is always competitively priced. Dubai offers high-quality Airbnbs The quality of Dubai real estate means your Airbnb is sure to impress guests in search of a unique, luxurious experience. For example, Dubai Marina Airbnbs are highly sought after and the premium location means it’s common for the properties to include amenities such as gyms, swimming pools, and easy access to top shops and restaurants. “These are all major selling points for visitors and factors which would allow owners to demand a rental premium from travellers,' Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, head of consulting, valuations and advisory operations at Chestertons Mena, explained to the Khaleej Times. You can find out more here about the luxury Airbnb amenities to incorporate where possible. Here at Frank Porter, we also offer an interior design service that can help ensure your Airbnb has the high-quality Dubai aesthetic they’re looking for and expecting. Dubai is a leader in the tourism sector Dubai’s tourism sector quickly bounced back after the Covid-19 lockdowns and exceeded both global and regional barometers of recovery, with visitors to the city in 2022 reaching 86% of pre-pandemic levels. It was also crowned the number one global destination in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023 for the second successive year, making Dubai only the second city in history to achieve this. It boasts one of the highest average hotel occupancy rates in the world, standing at 73% in 2022. However, tourists have also embraced the flexibility Airbnb offers and taken the opportunity to stay in different kinds of properties. According to a report by AirDNA, the average Airbnb occupancy rate is an impressive 60%. The appeal of Dubai is set to keep growing as Dubai’s top politicians continue to work towards cementing it as one of the world’s top three cities for travel and business. Therefore, if you’re looking for a short-term rental opportunity, Dubai’s Airbnb scene could be the place to watch.
Common Problems For Airbnb Hosts and How To Deal With Them
04.2023
Being an Airbnb host is hugely rewarding. As well as the extra income it provides, you get to help your guests make long-lasting memories on their holidays. However, you’ll inevitably encounter some hurdles from time to time. As long as you’re organised and prepared for these situations, you’ll be able to get through them with minimal stress. Here are some of the most common issues at all stages of the booking and how you can deal with them. Before the booking Check-in or check-out changes Guests wanting to arrive earlier or leave later can be inconvenient or maybe even impossible. The best way to avoid this problem is by stating how flexible or inflexible you can be directly on your listing. If you are willing to allow changes to check-in or check-out times, make sure you set a deadline for requests. Then if guests enquire in spite of your clear rules, all you can do is politely decline if there’s no way you can make this happen. A professional property management support team can deal with this on your behalf. Last-minute cancellations from guests This is the last thing you want when your Airbnb has been cleaned and prepped for your guest’s arrival. Good communication is the best way to avoid this problem. For example, you could ask them for their flight information so you have some confidence they intend to arrive at your location. Checking guest reviews before you accept the booking is also sensible as you can see whether they’ve made last-minute cancellations before. You could set a strict cancellation policy to avoid this Airbnb problem but then you run the risk of putting off potential guests who want a bit more flexibility. It’s up to you to decide what would be the more costly outcome. Last-minute cancellations from you Another possible issue is you wanting to cancel a reservation last minute. That may be because you found a couple of bad reviews that have left you concerned, or perhaps something about their communications makes you feel uneasy. Whatever the reason, know that Airbnb hosts who cancel on guests will have to pay a cancellation fee between $50 USD and $1,000 USD. There are only a few occasions where you can do so penalty-free: Valid reasons beyond your control, like emergency repairs or personal illness Extenuating circumstances (for example, a natural disaster or political instability) Unauthorised parties (though you will need to provide evidence a party is being planned) Instant Book reservations if the guest states they intend to break a rule, have negative reviews, or haven’t completed their profile (you can only cancel these bookings penalty-free three times a year and will have to contact Airbnb after that) Generally speaking, you should avoid cancelling unless you have a very good reason and if you still want to cancel, inform Airbnb as soon as possible. During the booking Issues at the property To prevent issues from occurring at the property, make sure you do a thorough check before your guests arrive and after they leave. That way you can try and fix problems like a broken shower or poor internet connectivity as soon as possible and minimise the inconvenience caused to guests. Even so, unexpected problems may still arise, so make sure you’re contactable and responsive, apologise, and do everything you can to solve the issue as quickly as can be. Keep guests up-to-date and check when they’re happy for you to enter the property to fix things. Hiring a professional maintenance service can help you resolve these types of problems faster. Noise complaints This can be a tricky situation to manage. It’s wise to build a good relationship with your neighbours so if guests complain about the noise, you can quickly contact them and ask them to quieten down. Similarly, they can contact you if the guests are behaving in an anti-social manner. Ultimately, all you can do is ask both parties to be mindful of their noise. If that makes no difference, you’ll have to lodge an official noise complaint or contact Airbnb for advice if it’s the guests who are the problem. Parties Guests are not allowed to throw parties in any Airbnb, but you should still mention that this is forbidden in your listing. If you have reason to suspect your guests are planning to throw a party, remind them that this is not allowed and that Airbnb can take action against them if they break this rule. Remember you can also enquire about cancelling their reservation if you have evidence that a party is in the pipeline. If you’re made aware that the guests are throwing a party, you can ask them to leave and tell Airbnb what has happened. You could also consider installing a noise-monitoring device, which respects privacy by not recording audio or video, so you’re aware as the situation unfolds. After the booking Property damage Accidents happen, and the first preventative measure you can take is to charge guests a security deposit which you’ll refund as long as they leave the property in the same condition. If the guest causes damage and agrees to the amount you’ve requested as compensation, Airbnb will release the funds to you within five to seven business days (as long as you make this request within two weeks of the guest checking out and before the next guest checks in). If not, you’ll have to contact Airbnb’s Resolution Centre with evidence and request to collect money from your guest’s security deposit. However, don’t rely on Airbnb for compensation alone. Claims are rejected and there’s also the possibility of damage that cost more than the security deposit. That’s why you should also make sure you’re covered by a short-term rental insurance policy. Lost or stolen items First of all, check that the items in question haven’t simply been misplaced. If you’re certain they’re no longer in the property, reach out to your guests and see if they can shed any light on the situation. Depending on how valuable the things are, you may decide to do nothing. Otherwise, make a claim through the security deposit route or your insurance (an inventory with photos can help keep track of changes before and after a stay), and potentially consider taking legal action. Remember that there’s no guarantee you’ll be compensated so it’s always sensible to remove anything you really wouldn’t want to lose from the property. Bad reviews A bad review is a common problem and the best way to avoid them is to manage expectations from the start. Make sure your listing is completely accurate and don’t fabricate things to make your place seem more appealing (a listing management service will help you create a listing that is enticing but also honest).  This applies to your property and the local area in general. It also helps to check in with guests soon after they arrive and see if there’s anything you can do to improve their stay. Bad reviews may still come up regardless, so take in the feedback and acknowledge the complaint. You may be able to learn from their comments and provide an even better experience to future guests. Respond to all reviews and be honest about where things have gone wrong and what measures you took or will take to avoid the situation repeating itself. However, don’t be afraid to defend yourself if the reviewer makes claims that aren’t true, but also make sure you are polite and respectful when doing so.
123...6