Saudi introduces Airbnb rental alternative

Saudi Arabians will now be able to offer short-term rentals of their property after the government announced the launch of a new platform that is similar to the global Airbnb website.

On Wednesday, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, the Minister of Tourism, gave his approval to the tourism law.

People who reside in Saudi Arabia will be required to get authorization to rent out their dwellings and present a copy of the ownership document or a valid rental agreement that demonstrates ownership.

The government has the goal of expanding the private sector’s contribution to the GDP to 65 per cent by 2030, which is a 25 per cent increase since the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030 in 2016. It is looking to reduce its reliance on oil to fuel its economic development.

By the year 2030, Saudi Arabia is aiming to provide employment opportunities to one million of its youth in the tourism industry, contributing up to 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

The legislation will facilitate the expansion of available lodging in the nation, providing tourists with competitive rates and a greater selection of possibilities.

The Ministry of Investment reported that the kingdom experienced a sharp surge of 575 per cent in the number of tourists during 2019 compared to the year prior, with 3.6 million travellers arriving during the second quarter. Additionally, there was a notable 42.3 per cent rise in local tourism.

The goal of the National Tourism Strategy of Saudi Arabia is to draw in one hundred million visitors by the year 2030.


Image Credit: Jeremiah Del Mar on Unsplash