Dubai rental company Short Stay raises $1.9m to drive expansion

The funding round was led by Africa's SK Group

Short Stay Vacation Homes, a Dubai-based property management company, raised Dh7.2 million ($1.96m) that will help it to expand and provide job opportunities in the emirate.

The funding round, led by Africa's SK Group, will help Short Stay to acquire more units as part of its plans to scale up its network of properties to more than 500 units across Dubai by the fourth quarter of 2022, the company said on Monday.

“Over the last five years, the industry has witnessed a steep surge in demand for ‘home-away-from-home’ experiences that short-term rentals offer customers, along with high standards of cleanliness and safety," said Jugal Khushalani, founder of Short Stay.

"This appeals to both leisure and business travellers. Dubai’s short-term rental market has seen double-digit growth and with Expo 2020, we only expect it to rise further."

The short-stay property market in the emirate is poised for growth as visitor numbers rise amid Expo 2020 Dubai.

The six-month long event has recorded 2.5 million visits so far, helping the tourism sector to recover steadily.

Dubai hotels have also recorded a 67.2 per cent surge in occupancy rates in September as easing travel restrictions and Expo 2020 attract more visitors.

"Within the real estate ecosystem, more landlords are keen to list their properties for short-term rentals to leverage the significant increase in inbound tourism," Mr Khushalani said.

"In addition to increased occupancy, the average length of stays has also steadily increased since December 2020. Guests are taking longer trips away as short-term rentals offer larger spaces, flexible payment terms, enabling people to combine work with leisure."

Within the real estate ecosystem, more landlords are keen to list their properties for short-term rentals to leverage the significant increase in in-bound tourism
Jugal Khushalani, founder of Short Stay Vacation Homes

Short Stay, which was founded in 2017, manages privately-owned apartments across Dubai, which guests can rent on a short-term basis.

It currently manages more than 75 properties in popular residential and tourist areas such as Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubai Marina.

SK Group, which is based in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital of Kinshasa, was founded in 2003 and entered the construction and property sector in 2012.

Dubai’s holiday home market accounted for 2 per cent of the emirate’s total households in 2019, the highest proportion of all other major cities worldwide, according to a review released by Knight Frank that year.

A separate report by market analysts AirDNA recorded growth of about 70 per cent in short-term rentals between June 2018 and June 2019 in Dubai, a rise fuelled by more budget-conscious travellers.

Updated: November 2nd 2021, 5:00 AM