COP28: How to create an environmentally responsible Airbnb experience
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
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
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
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
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.
Is Airbnb Profitable and What Affects How Much You Earn?
For those with a spare property or even just a spare room, becoming an Airbnb host is a tempting proposition. Allowing you to make money with less involvement than running most traditional businesses — though that’s not to say there isn’t time and effort involved — it’s no wonder there are over four million Airbnb hosts worldwide. But one thing that puts many off from taking the plunge is the financial viability of doing so, particularly as being an Airbnb host involves various expenditures, from tax to property upkeep. Although it’s difficult to give a definitive answer to questions like “Is Airbnb profitable?” or “How much can you make on Airbnb?”, being an Airbnb host is financially viable for most. After all, the average monthly Airbnb income is $924, with 82% of hosts agreeing that it is a good way of earning money. That said, how much you can make on Airbnb depends on a whole host of factors, including: Your Property’s Size and Amenities Quite simply, the bigger and better your property is, the more Airbnb income you can make. For example, a four bedroom apartment is going to list for a lot more than a spare room in a small house. By the same token, the nicer your home is, the more you’ll be able to charge too. In addition to aspects like the state of the property and the decorations, the type and quantity of amenities you have will also increase your profits. From pools and washing machines, to air conditioning and hot tubs, there are so many amenities that guests love, and are therefore willing to pay more for. Your Property’s Location Your property’s location also impacts the level of income you can expect to earn from your Airbnb listing. For instance, if your listing is situated conveniently close to a city centre, then prospective guests will almost certainly be happy to fork out extra for the privilege. People generally pay less for properties in less convenient locations, as well as those in neighbourhoods with higher crime rates, for instance. How Much You Charge Although aspects like your property and location ultimately determine the general price range your property will be in, you can still decide to charge more or less than this. Perhaps you believe that you can get more guests by listing your property for less, or think that your listing is worth more than what people typically pay for comparable properties. Regardless, it’s a good idea to find out what the going rate for your type of listing is, though do bear in mind that this will be impacted by things like day of the week and the time of year. Our rental calculator can help you to estimate your revenue potential based on area, property size, and interior design. How Often You Rent Out Your Property An obvious point, but an important one nonetheless: the more often you rent out your property, the more money you stand to receive. Of course, you may want to stay there yourself at various times throughout the year, but this can ultimately eat into your profits. Conversely, the less demand you get for your listing, the less profit you’ll make. This is why it’s important to do everything possible to both entice people to stay at your property and encourage previous guests to return. You can do so by enhancing your guests’ experiences — more on this below. Your Outgoings Of course, higher outgoings result in lower profits. Some of the main costs for Airbnb hosts include: Property upkeep Many Airbnb owners hire externally for services like cleaning and repairs to help keep their property suitable for guests, while replacing amenities such as shampoo, tea, coffee, and cooking supplies also adds up. Tax Running an Airbnb business will almost certainly make you liable for taxes, though the exact kind depends on where you’re based. For example, it’s common to pay income tax on your earnings. Insurance Airbnb hosts will want insurance to cover for things like theft, damage, or legal disputes with guests. Aspects like the level of cover you buy and your risk level will impact how much this costs you. Airbnb fees Airbnb takes a fee from all hosts, though how much this is depends on where you’re based. Generally speaking, this is 3% of the booking total, though the fee is higher for Airbnb Plus hosts or if your cancellation policy is particularly strict. Here at Frank Porter our Admin Support Team will take care of all the airbnb requirements and government compliance, permits and DET to mitigate any potential headaches. Your Guests’ Experiences The better experience your guests have, the better reviews you’ll receive and the more likely you are to get new bookings and returning guests, both of which boost your Airbnb income. Things that can impact your guests’ enjoyment include the check-in experience, your listing’s accuracy, and your response time/general communication. Enlisting the help of a property management company like Frank Porter can help you tick all of these boxes, while also enabling you to spend your valuable time elsewhere. Our services include cleaning/maintenance, listing management and interior design, and we have a track record of increasing our clients’ profits. Find out more about us here, and don’t hesitate to contact us at your nearest convenience to make an enquiry.
How to do 72 hours in Dubai right
Dubai, the most opulent of the desert cities, is where the ancient and the futuristic collide to offer its lucky visitors an unforgettable adventure. Naturally, if you're fortunate enough to be planning a trip to the City of Gold, you want to make every moment count. Of course, a few days in Dubai is not enough time to experience all the city has to offer, as the crowning glory of the Arabian Peninsula is a vast metropolis with almost infinite things to do and see. However, you can still check off a lot of must-see attractions and have the trip of a lifetime. Being Dubai ‘s premier Airbnb management company, it's safe to assume that we at Frank Porter know pretty much all there is to know about the city, its people, where to go, and what to see. And so, just as we take the hassle out of renting out holiday-homes on Airbnb, we’re here to help you design your ideal three-day vacation. Without further ado, here’s our incredible itinerary for 72 spectacular hours in Dubai. 10am: Land in Dubai Welcome to Dubai! After landing and collecting your luggage at the city's bustling Dubai International Airport, hail a cab, or better yet, jump on a shared shuttle service that can get you to your accommodation in as little as ten minutes. Once you’ve arrived, it’s time to check in. If you’ve booked to stay in one of the city’s luxurious Airbnb properties, you’ve chosen well. Unpack, refresh, and bask in the glorious view that waits for you on the private balcony of your penthouse, before heading to Old Town. 1pm: Old Town tasting tour The modern side of Dubai is dazzling, boasting towering skyscrapers and a sparkling nightlife, but the historic district is where the real magic happens. Therefore, your first stop is to visit Deira, in “Old Town”, one of the oldest and, some would argue, most authentic spots in the city. It’s the perfect opportunity to banish your jet lag, get a taste for Dubai’s world-famous cuisine, and see Dubai as it once was: a working port with a rich trading history. Here, booking a tasting tour is the best way to see the side of Old Town that the locals treasure but few visitors and expats get to see. Take in the myriad of exotic delicacies and allow your senses to explode as you sample camel burgers, Lebanese baklava, and saffron ice cream, to name just a few. 4pm: Souk shopping Dubai’s world-famous souks (Arab marketplaces) are also found in the district of Deira. Wait for the merchants to open up following the afternoon qayloulah (siesta), and then cool off with an iced watermelon juice and watch the action unfold. The gold, spice, and perfume souks are easily accessible on foot from the Deira side of Dubai Creek, with the textile souk just a quick abra (water taxi) ride away. As you explore the labyrinth of stalls at the traditional Arab market, you'll see that haggling is not only tolerated, but encouraged, making Deira the ideal spot for a little souvenir shopping. 7pm: Pierce the sky at the Burj Khalifa Laden with a dizzying array of goodies — we’re talking aromatic spices, handwoven fabrics, and striking gold pendants — head back to your Airbnb. Spritz yourself with the bespoke oud you created at the perfume souk and get ready to leave for a pre-booked dinner at the world-renowned Atmosphere, up the Burj Khalifa Atmosphere is not for the faint of heart; it is located on the 122nd story of the world's highest building! Tuck into a 13 course tasting menu with seasonal and traditional French delicacies, before zooming up to SKY on level 148 and bask in the view from the 360-degree observation deck. Day 2 – 11am: Deep dive at the Dubai Aquarium After a restful night's sleep, you'll be ready to take on the second day of your Dubai getaway. It's a blistering hot day — ideal for cooling down in the air-conditioned splendour of the Dubai Mall. Certainly, shopping is a given, but first up is the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, which is one of the largest in the world. The iconic 48-metre long Aquarium Tunnel leads you 11 metres under the surface and is an absolute must-see. With 270-degree views of over 140 species, including giant spider crabs, lionfish, seahorses and humboldt penguins, the tunnel is a kaleidoscope of marine life. Feeling brave? Take a dive with an experienced scuba diver to bring you within inches of toothier aquatic creatures. 2pm: Shopper’s paradise at the Dubai Mall With more than 1,200 stores, including over 200 designer boutiques on “Fashion Avenue,” Dubai Mall is a shopper's paradise. Download the mall's app to simplify your shopping experience, as the sheer size can make it difficult to find your way around. If you need a suitable meeting spot after perusing the layers of sought-after stores, what better spot than the foot of The Human Waterfall? Spread over three floors of the Dubai mall, the colossal landmark is a delight for Instagrammers and artists of all stripes. 6pm: Sunset cocktails at the Palm After dropping your treasures back at base camp and having a quick change, you’ll be ready for a night on the Palm Jumeirah — Dubai’s famous man-made archipelago. Firstly, we recommend a monorail trip that runs from the base of the three-mile long trunk to up to the crown of Atlantis, the Palm, the world-renowned destination resort. Take a lazy alfresco supper at Dubai's trendiest beach club, WHITE, with a stunning outdoor patio ideal for cocktails at sunset. You've been bar hopping from posh cocktail club to hip molecular bar, and now it's time to cap off the evening with a bang. Hail a cab or take the short walk to Atlantis, the Royal, to watch the region's first fire-meets-water show, at the Skyblaze Fountain. Day 3 – 11am: Blissful beach trip Now that you've had some time to sleep in and enjoy a leisurely brunch, it's time to enjoy your last day in the City of Gold. Those searching for a peaceful day trip or an opportunity to work on their kitesurfing or windsurfing skills will find what they're looking for on Dubai's pristine, white sand beaches. With the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel as a backdrop, Sunset Beach, also known as Umm Suqeim beach, is a must-visit. Catch a snooze or borrow a book from one of the charming libraries dotted around the shore, before getting ready for your final excursion. 3pm: Half-day desert safari Pickup for afternoon desert safaris starts at around 3pm. You'll want to hang on tight as you cruise over the sand dunes in a 4×4 Jeep and take in the breathtaking views of the desert. Once the adrenaline rush is over, unwind in an authentic Bedouin tent and try your hand at camel riding, sandboarding, or even getting a henna tattoo. As soon as the sun goes down, the party truly starts. Under a canopy of stars, enjoy a traditional feast and evening of entertainment, replete with enchanting belly dancers, spellbinding fire eaters, and curious folktales — there's simply no better way to round off your trip. So there you have it, your itinerary on how to make the most of 72 hours in Dubai! If you liked this article, you may also be interested in reading our guide to Dubai’s unique dining experiences to find out more about the city’s culinary delights. Thanks for reading, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about what Frank Porter can do for you, should you choose to one day return home to the City of Gold.
10 added Airbnb luxuries that will wow your guests
When you’re competing with many other Airbnb hosts in your local area, kitting your property out with special features and touches is a great way to give you the edge. Quality accommodation is an integral part of a fantastic holiday so most bookers will be in search of luxurious-looking listings. But what kinds of things will be most likely to attract attention? This is Frank Porter’s area of expertise. As well as keeping your property clean and well-managed, we offer an interior design service to ensure it looks the part and a listing management service so your property is advertised in line with its full potential. Here are 10 examples of luxuries that we believe will impress your guests. 1. Spa bathrooms Holidays are times for rest and relaxation so your guests are sure to be delighted by a bathroom that offers a spa experience. Consider installing a steam shower, which benefits the skin and sinuses, or a sauna if there is space. Jacuzzi baths are another popular choice. Also make sure that the bathroom looks sophisticated and tasteful (think matching towels and moisture-loving plants) and provide high-quality toiletries that will cover all their potential needs. 2. Tech for maximum convenience Ensuring every task is as easy and seamless as possible will really help your guests unwind. There is lots of technology that can help with this. Common examples include smart thermostats that mean guests don’t need to manually adjust the heating, remote or button-controlled blinds, automatic mood lighting, and voice assistants that are on hand to answer any questions they may have about the local area. 3. Glamorous bedding Sleep quality is arguably the most important part of top holiday accommodation, so you can create a good impression by proving you’re invested in this. Treat them to excellent mattresses, cloud-like pillows, and soft, high-end bedding. You can’t go wrong with Egyptian cotton, which offers a smooth, crisp and luxurious feel. 4. Home gym While many guests will only wish to relax, others consider exercising to be a core part of wellness. For them, a gym could be a non-negotiable. When installing a home gym, make sure you invest in high-quality brands and a variety of equipment so you’ll be able to cater to all fitness lovers. It’s worth incorporating a wall-mounted television so guests can be entertained while working out and can stream online exercise classes. 5. Endless entertainment options Given how many devices and subscriptions the average person has access to at home, it’s important that you allow them to replicate that experience while staying in your Airbnb. Make sure you have televisions with all the core streaming platforms installed in as many rooms as possible. A quality sound system will delight those who want to unwind to music, and you could even consider offering game consoles and a selection of video games. 6. Air conditioning An air conditioning system could definitely be the thing that makes guests choose yours over others – especially if your Airbnb is based somewhere where the heat can be very uncomfortable like Dubai. Prioritise the living and dining areas as well as the bedrooms to ensure your guests can stay cool and comfortable all year round. 7. Outdoor amenities Outdoor space is a huge selling point so make the most of it by adding features that really entice your guests. That could include decking, a patio, a swimming pool, sun loungers, a barbecue, sports equipment (like table tennis tables), and a seating area. Also make sure the grass is trimmed and all plants and flowers look vibrant and healthy. 8. Parking and EV charging Free parking on the premises will be welcomed by guests who will be driving around during their trip. And with electric vehicles becoming increasingly popular, installing a home EV-charging point will exude luxury and offer your guests massive convenience. 9. Daily cleaning Guests wouldn’t expect to clean up after themselves if they were staying in a luxury hotel so that’s an incentive for you to offer the same experience. Whether you do this yourself or hire professionals (we offer a cleaning and maintenance service here at Frank Porter), every room in your Airbnb should always be clean and tidy. Make sure you communicate with your guests in advance so your cleaning duties don’t disturb them at inconvenient times. 10. Quality food and drink Stock up your kitchen with basic staples like cereal, pasta, rice, milk, and bottled water, and put together a welcome basket containing things like fresh fruit, chocolates, and wine. Champagne and premium liquor is also sure to make guests feel welcome and in the mood for celebrating. For a personal touch, consider offering them a local delicacy they may not have eaten before.
5 of the Most Unique Dining Experiences in Dubai
Alongside its beautiful beaches, state-of-the-art skyscrapers and inimitable style, Dubai offers plenty of unique dining experiences. Wherever you go, you can expect decadent cuisine — but when it’s around every corner, how do you know where to start? If you’re struggling to decide where to eat, look no further — the team at Frank Porter have put together our list of some of the most memorable restaurants around. From the weird and wonderful to the downright gravity-defying, these are our picks for the best dining experiences in Dubai. At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa On the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, you’ll find At.mosphere — if you can tilt your head up far enough to look. Seated in the clouds, diners can enjoy unparalleled views of the city scenes and desert landscapes on the horizon. This alone could earn it a place on any list of the best dining experiences in Dubai — but its high-end menu of varied cuisines seals the deal. At nearly half a mile high, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building on the planet — and as a prime landmark in the UAE, the glamorous area surrounding it boasts some of the world’s greatest revenues for Airbnb owners. While property prices and yields vary across the city, Dubai offers the opportunity for lucrative earnings — use our Revenue Calculator to learn how much you could make. Ossiano at Atlantis, The Palm It will come as no surprise to see The Palm’s iconic Atlantis hotel feature on our list. While the towers of Atlantis are home to a treasure trove of fine-dining establishments, few offer dinnertime as thrilling as Ossiano, the underwater restaurant. The Michelin-starred eatery sits below the surface of an expansive aquarium on The Palm, immersing you in a dramatic marine world. Chef extraordinaire Grégoire Berger offers a menu which blazes the trail of progressive fine dining, with an opulent selection of seafood ranging from caviar to crab legs. While you might not spot a lost city hiding out in the deep blue, you can expect to see sharks, rays, and schools of dazzling colourful fish pass by as you dine. Sonara Camp at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve Deep in the Arabian desert is Sonara Camp, an oasis of entertainment and fine dining. The eco-friendly restaurant prioritises local and ethical products to serve up to keen dune wanderers, and has quickly built notoriety since opening in 2019. The chic setup offers cosy torchlit seating, hammocks and live music to help guests to relax under the stars. Its menu was curated by French chef Franck Sanna, offering a range of multicultural eats from ratatouille to chicken shawarma. The camp’s kitchen is entirely open-air, so you can watch your meal be prepared against a sweeping desert backdrop. As well as music, diners can enjoy entertainment from fire performers and belly dancers, and even upgrade to packages that include classic desert activities like quad biking and sand surfing. Chillout Ice Lounge at Al Quoz Dubai has something to offer everyone, including those looking to escape the desert heat. If you feel more comfortable in sub-zero than on safari, pay a visit to the UAE’s first-ever ice lounge. The coolest restaurant in the city is decorated from top to bottom in ice sculptures, frozen furniture and ambient lighting arrangements, creating a truly unique Dubai dining experience. The lounge was designed with the whole family in mind, offering a more casual dining experience in anything but casual surroundings. Hot dogs, soups, sandwiches and confectionery are available for order, as well as hot drinks and mocktails to warm you up in the -6°C temperatures. And while you might not have come to Dubai equipped with your warmest winter coat, there’s no need to worry — visitors are given a parka, gloves, shoes and socks to brave the freezing conditions of the lounge. Dinner in the Sky at Skydive Dubai Whether it’s watersports in the marina or riding camels across the dunes, Dubai has plenty to occupy the thrillseekers of the world. Dinner in the Sky is one of those thrills — the restaurant is elevated 50 metres into the air by a crane, making it one of the most unique restaurants in Dubai. The rotating table ensures that everybody attending this sky-high dinner party gets an impressive view of the city surroundings — and if they’re brave enough, dare to look down at the ground beneath them. Not only can diners indulge in the impressive scenery, but also the luxurious food and drink on offer. The menu boasts classic Middle Eastern mains such as chicken musakhan and lamb kibbeh followed by crowd-pleasing desserts like chocolate fudge cake. While Dinner in the Sky is undoubtedly one of the best dining experiences in Dubai, it’s not for the faint of heart — or for those prone to dropping their fork. With so much to see and do, Dubai is truly the crown jewel of the Middle East. Experiences like these draw millions of visitors each year, offering local property investors and existing homeowners in the city the lucrative opportunity to rent their homes for short-term lease. To find out more about how Frank Porter can help you get the most out of your rentals, get in touch with us today.
How to be an Outstanding Airbnb Host!
The secret to a flawless, five-star Airbnb review lies within the complete guest experience, and there are numerous ways to make your visitors feel welcome and show them that their happiness is your first concern. This guide will teach you how to be an Airbnb host to remember in five easy steps. Set honest expectations You don’t have to have a perfect home to be the perfect host, but you should be forthright and honest with your guests about any faults they might encounter. Visitors will be disappointed if you exaggerate your home's amenities or omit important details, something that can lead to negative reviews. To avoid this, be sure to describe (or spin into endearing quirks) any potential issues with your property in detail. If your guests are warned in advance about patchy air con, or how the internet may occasionally cut out, they can decide if these are deal breakers for their trip — or go ahead and book with clear expectations. It’s a good idea to employ a photographer to take professional property photos for your listing, as this will be the first thing potential guests view before deciding whether or not to book. According to Airbnb insights, hosts with professional photos can earn up to 20% more than others in their area. This is something that Frank Porter's listing management services can help you with. We can arrange for one of our in-house expert photographers to take stunning photographs of your home, highlighting its best qualities. We’ll then add them to your profile alongside catchy and distinctive Airbnb property descriptions. Communicate with care Competition in your area is likely to be fierce due to the burgeoning number of Airbnb listings, so, to stand out from the crowd, you want to seem as professional as possible. Guests’ memories of your rental will be formed based on their interactions with you, so let them know they can contact you whenever they have questions, problems, or requests. If you want to keep your visitors happy, the best thing you can do is to respond quickly, even if you can't do so right away. This is actually one of the prerequisites to become an Airbnb Superhost, which can boost your reputation and help you bring in additional bookings. There are a number of ways to speed up your response rate and make sure you never miss an inquiry. For example, you can automate your bookings, check-ins, and check-outs with the help of scheduled messaging software. Alternatively, the guest support team at Frank Porter can handle all guest-related issues on your behalf, from initial enquiry to physical check-in, as well as ongoing support. The team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and speaks several different languages, guaranteeing that our customers receive the finest possible service. Prep your property According to an Airbnb poll, guests ranked having access to convenient amenities as one of the most important aspects of their vacation. As more visitors look for longer stays, this is more important than ever. When filling, furnishing, and preparing your Airbnb, keep in mind the essentials that your guests will require and don't compromise on the extras if you want that perfect five-star rating. You might find one or two things that could be altered to make their stay more enjoyable, from tea and coffee and basic cooking supplies, to thoughtful extras such as nice toiletries, fluffy towels, and hair dryers. At check-in, guests want to be welcomed into an environment that is homely and full of personality, but is also sparkling clean. Airbnb has very stringent rules on hygiene, listing cleanliness as one of the most important values for guest satisfaction — dictating that a five-step process is carried out in between bookings, in accordance with local laws and guidelines. So, before opening your doors, it’s vital to give the entire home a thorough clean and stock the bathroom, kitchen, and guest rooms with supplies that visitors can use to tidy up after themselves. We have an in-house maintenance team here at Frank Porter that can ensure your property is in tip-top shape for your guests, providing general maintenance, refilling of essentials, and deep cleaning services. Offer a warm welcome The way your guests check in can set the tone for the rest of their holiday. When they are required to perform their own check-in, it adds yet another degree of difficulty to the already demanding task of finding their Airbnb in a neighbourhood they don’t know well. So, if you decide to use a lockbox, smart lock, or keypad, you can ease the process by adding clear instructions to their online arrival guide, in addition to directions to your property. You should also provide your guests with a detailed handbook that explains how to use the facilities and offers suggestions for the surrounding area, such as the best places to get a cup of coffee or a delicious dinner. This can be digital or printed, but for extra brownie points, be sure to include a heartfelt welcome message However, to perfect your check-ins, you should aim to greet guests in a more warm and personable manner. If possible, be there to welcome them upon their arrival to help them with their bags, give them a quick tour, and answer any questions they may have. Be attentive As discussed, early communication should give you ample opportunity to get to know your guests, their travel plans, and interests. This will in turn allow you to surprise them with thoughtful touches that will make their stay memorable. It could be an important occasion like a birthday or anniversary, in which case it's nice to go the extra mile for guests celebrating special moments — whether it's with a bottle of wine, a cake, or something as simple as acknowledging this in their welcome note. Guests love to know you are thinking about them (in moderation of course!) and doing so demonstrates that you are a thoughtful Airbnb host, which will almost always result in higher ratings. However, if this is not possible due to a last-minute booking or something unexpected, now is a great time to compensate. The chances are they forgot something, whether it’s to pack guide books or to mention certain allergies. So, as soon as guests have made themselves at home, check in to make sure they have all they need. Final thoughts Requesting and acting on feedback is an integral step to becoming an excellent Airbnb host. So, a few days after your guests have checked out, send them a friendly message asking for this. Make it a point to emphasise how much you cherish a glowing review and how a five-star rating would help your business grow.
5 Top Tips For Decorating A House To Let Short-term
When styling your property for the short term rental market, it is important to remember you are decorating for a wider population. First start by identifying your audience, this will help you retain bookings and increase your ratings. Try to invest in pieces that suit your core audience. If your house is large and ideal for families’, you need to make sure that is is child-safe and the furnishings are appropriate. If, however you are renting a smaller city dwelling with a rooftop area, you can consider edgier pieces designed for a couple to spend their time together outside. Unlike styling your own personal property, your main goal is to appeal to the greatest number of people possible in order to maximize revenue. Avoid anything personal that shows your views or beliefs whether that be religious, cultural or sporting team related! Keep things neutral and try to follow these top tips to ensure your house is ready for the short-term rental market:   Think practically for the tenant First, consider your location. If your property resides near a beach, you should keep in mind that tenants will be bringing back wet bathers and unknowingly dragging in sand on their feet. Small touches like a bucket in the laundry room or ensuring you go for a flat rug that’s easily cleaned (rather than a woven fluffy rug that will be a struggle to extract sand from) will be valuable for both you and the tenant. Ideas to make the space functional include: providing hooks for your guests to hang their bags on at the door, making sure there are chopping boards in the kitchen and providing a sufficient number of beds for the space. Create a holiday ambience Guests love a unique property or experience. Your goal as the landlord is to create that holiday experience for your guests.  If you are near the beach, you can consider a beach theme for example. If you need ideas for wall art why not incorporate some artwork of the city it’s located in so the guests can admire where they are, where they have visited or they can add new landmarks to their sightseeing list! Work with what you’ve got, if you have large windows – Place the couches in front of them so your guests can enjoy the view and completely relax on their getaway. Use calming colours to allow the guest to relax and enjoy their time there. Consider hygiene and cleanliness Reduce all forms of clutter. Try not to incorporate too many intricate pieces with extra nooks and crannies that require complex cleaning regimes in order to remain dust-free and hygienic. Keeping your property clean for each tenant is essential so you want to make it a simple as possible to maintain. Instead of intricate chandeliers, try to swap them for more modern light fixtures that don’t require removal for cleans between tenants. Along with this, add a doormat to all entrances. This means guests will (hopefully) clean their feet before entering and it will help to decrease the wear and tear on your floors and carpets. Other essentials include ensuring there are adequate cleaning products and hand soaps available. Work with neutral colours It is important landlords remember that leasing your house in the short term market will attract a variety of tenants with differing interior design tastes. By selecting neutral colours, it is less likely that anyone will find your choices visually offensive and more likely that all your tenants will feel comfortable staying there. Invest in soft furnishings Soft furnishings such as cushions, throws and wall art can be inexpensive ways to redefine a room with statement pieces without making any permanent changes or construction. They can also be easily changed depending on what is in style at the time to keep your property modern and relevant. If you stick to neutral colours with paints, wallpapers and floor materials – your choice of soft furnishings can inject a pop of colour with some bright cushions and interesting artwork. Mirrors are another soft finish that can make a significant different within a space. They can not only add light to a room, they can also make a space appear larger.   By incorporating the points mentioned above, your property will have the highest earning capacity possible. Always try to put yourself in the shoes of a tenant and consider the types of amenities and finishes you prefer when you leasing a property yourself. If you need a helping hand here at Frank Porter we can help with any scale of interior design needs for short term rentals. Get in touch today!
What You Should Know About Damage Protection for Short-Term Rentals
Nowadays, private rental properties have become extremely popular among both residents and tourists alike. Consequently, the demand for comfort, convenience, and facilities similar to hotels has increased. People staying in these homes are carefree, causing unintentional damage to the property. The homeowner’s insurance policy does not offer compensation for damages caused by the guests staying for a short period. Whether you are renting out your property yourself or have given it to a company that helps manage Airbnb properties, you may need an added sort of damage protection. What Is The Term Damage-Protection? Damage protection refers to protecting your short-term Airbnb rental property against damage. It is otherwise known as damage protection insurance. It is an insurance policy that is designed to offer the necessary coverage to your guests renting your property against a range of accidental damage. However, the rental insurance does not apply to their family and friends staying with them free in your rental home. Coverage Is Offered By The Damage Protection Insurance Policy The damage protection offered through this rental insurance policy will compensate your home, covering all liability exposures when occupied by a paying guest. This type of insurance policy or damage protection will safeguard you from all fiscal responsibilities. It will also protect you from court cases filed by your paying guest. Some of the items which come under the coverage of a short-term rental insurance policy include: Loss of revenue Surplus use of utilities Plague Liquid liability The coverage is applicable only for the days that your guest stays in your rental property. How Can You Provide Damage Protection To Your Rental Property? There are several other options available for protecting your short-term rental property from damages. One of those options is to collect an additional amount as a deposit from paying guests. It is also a better and safer option to provide the best damage protection for your short-term rental property. If you book guests for your Airbnb property through a property management agency, the Airbnb property manager of the agency will provide some kind of protection through a property damage deposit in addition to the rent. These deposits will usually cover most unintentional damage. Some agencies add a meager sum to the daily rent for added damage protection rather than requesting a separate deposit from guests for accidental damage.