Qatar Tourism issues Regulations regarding Holiday Homes

Qatar Tourism issues Regulations regarding Holiday Homes

In support of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and to promote the operation of holiday homes in Qatar, Qatar Tourism has introduced the Holiday Home Regulation Programme.  The Holiday Homes Circular No. (1) of 2021 was issued on 28th August 2021 (“Holiday Home Circular”), and regulates the use of holiday homes in the State of Qatar.  The regulation of holiday homes will certainly help offer more diversity of accommodation in the hospitality market ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Issuance of the license

It is prohibited to engage in the offering of holiday homes to the public in Qatar without a license issued by Qatar Tourism. Licensing is subject to fulfilling the following requirements:

a) The applicant must be the owner of the unit or has legal status to use the unit as a Holiday Home. The applicant must either be Qatari national, GCC national or holder of a valid residence on the State;

b) The applicant must be 21 years or older;

c) The applicable must have full civil capacity;

d) The applicant must be of good conduct and reputation;

e) The applicant must not have a criminal record; and

f) The applicant must not be prohibited from conducting tourism activities.

The applicant must also execute a written declaration of the commitment to always abide by the technical specifications, conditions and control requirements related to holiday homes. The application must be filed through the Electronic Licensing System at: https://eservices.visitqatar.qa/

The relevant department shall issue a decision within one week of receipt of a completed application. If no response is issued within one week, it shall be deemed rejected.  An initial approval is issued following the submission of all required documents, the readiness of the unit(s) and upon inspection by the relevant department to determine the readiness of the unit(s).

The obligations of the licensee

The licensee has the following obligations:

a) Renting the holiday home on a daily or weekly basis or any temporary period not exceeding thirty consecutive days.

b) Handing over the holiday home to the guest on the agreed date and in a condition that allows the guest to use the holiday home as intended in accordance with the conditions of the contract.

c) Not impose any additional costs other than those agreed upon in the contract.

d) Prepare a list of the rules and requirements that a guest must comply with during their stay.

e) Designate emergency contact information available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

f) Draft a policy for complaints and display it in a prominent place within easy reach of the guest. The policy must include a term that the Licensee shall investigate all complaints by guests     made against the Licensee, and that the Licensee shall take the necessary action regarding each complaint.

Classification of Holiday Homes

Attached to the Holiday Home Circular, Qatar Tourism issued a Grading and Classification Manual for each holiday home.  The Grading and Classification Manual can also be found in English and Arabic on the Qatar Tourism website.

Given that Qatar Tourism is mandated to ensure that there is a clear criterion of facilities and services to be met by a Licensee of a holiday home, the Grading and Classification Manual, is key to ensuring quality.

The manual defines the elements that reflect the minimum expectations of travelers and which must be met by every holiday home.

Optional elements are the standard that do not represent the minimal standards of expectation but create an added value to the guest experience.

The guest experience element is calculated through the average of the reviews posted online. Qatar Tourism partnered with a leading company specializing in analyzing guest reviews in order to reach 130-point scale of rating. A holiday home must reach a minimum of 75% guest satisfaction in order to retain its license.

The assessment of the classification standards is conducted for each room in the unit including but not limited to the bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, kitchen, domestic helper’s room, and the outside parameter including fencing, surveillance cameras, lighting, pool and the path leading to the holiday home.

Terms and conditions for guests and their visitors

a) Guests and their visitors must respect the privacy of being in a family residential completed and act appropriate and conducive to the family environment. Guests and their visitors must abide by the following conditions:

b) Respect the purpose of the holiday home.

c) Visitors are not allowed to remain in the holiday homefrom midnight to 8am.

d) Refrain from any inappropriate behavior that is contrary to the State of Qatar’s general morals and traditions.

e) Refrain from making noises and disturbing neighbors.

f) Refrain from smoking in nonsmoking areas.

g) Children under the age of 14 must be monitored in all entertainment areas.

h) Guests are not allowed to make any modification to the furnished unit without the prior written consent on the homeowner.

i) Comply with parking regulations.

j) Dispose and recycle waste in accordance with the standard instructions and practices in the holiday home.

k) Promptly Notify the licensee of any disputes or complaints.

About Al-Ansari & Associates

Al-Ansari & Associates is a leading law firm based in Doha, the State of Qatar. Being the fastest growing firm in the State of Qatar, we are proud to have supported both local and international clients with multi jurisdictional qualified lawyers. The firm's practice is focused on core areas such as corporate and commercial, Banking and Finance, regulatory and compliance, Labour and Employment, TMT, Intellectual Property and Copyright, Real Estate and Contraction, Energy and Natural Resources, Transport and Infrastructure and Dispute Resolution. Al-Ansari & Associates provides its clients legal expertise with international standards.

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