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Oman clears the way for short-term rentals

24 Nov 2022 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Holiday makers in Oman will soon have more accommodation options as the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) is opening the short-term rental market to property developers, hospitality companies, small and medium enterprises and to individually owned properties at a later stage.

An agreement to this effect has been signed between Visit Oman and the UK’s UnderTheDoormat Group – an award-winning global short-term rental technology company.

Oman currently offers short-term rentals through a variety of players on global platforms, such as Airbnb and Booking.com, but the tech partnership breaks new ground, and officially opens the market in a transparent manner.

‘This first-of-its-kind partnership will pave the way for opening government approved short-term rentals in Oman, while offering travellers from around the world choice in the types of accommodation they can access to explore everything Oman has to offer. It will further enhance Visit Oman’s capabilities to connect international travel trade with tourism suppliers and new types of accommodation in the sultanate,’ a press release stated.

At an official ceremony hosted by H E Azzan bin Qassim al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism in MHT, in Muscat recently, the agreement was signed between Shabib al Maamari, Managing Director of Visit Oman, and Merilee Karr, Founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat Group.

As the partnership launches, integrated tourism complexes (ITCs) will lead this innovation in the sultanate, including some of the largest property developers and hospitality companies. The first properties will go live through the UnderTheDoormat Group’s Hospiria property management and distribution platform towards the end of 2022.

‘ITCs, SMEs and in the future individual property owners with an approved licence, will be able to access the global short-term rental market through a single technology system, Hospiria. This will connect their homes, villas or apartments to guests and travellers seeking short-term rental accommodation during their stay in the sultanate, through an officially approved channel,’ stated MHT.

The partnership will provide the opportunity for both large tourism companies and SMEs to provide their services to travellers giving them additional rental income opportunities, as the Hospiria technology will link and market their properties via the largest online booking engines and aggregators in the world with a single system to distribute and manage their portfolios.

UnderTheDoormat will also work with Visit Oman to help Omani ITCs, SMEs, property owners and leasers gain confidence in offering their short-stay guests a “home away from home” managed according to internationally accredited and verified quality standards.

“Oman’s innovation in opening the short-term rental sector for approved companies and owners is a game changer for tourism in the country, and a great example of how technology can help enable the responsible growth of our sector,” Merilee said at the signing ceremony.

Licensed and approved companies, SMEs and property owners in Oman who would like to register their interest in being a part of the programme can contact the Visit Oman team through www.visitoman.om

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