Five quirky Airbnb properties in the UAE as Arabic site launches

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Airbnb has continued its growth in the Middle East with the launch on its Arabic website this week.

Throughout the Mena region, Airbnb has more than 70,000 properties listed and is growing at a rapid rate.

The localised website, alongside the iOS and Android Apps, offers all features in Arabic, allowing users to browse available rooms and properties, book, and pay in their local currencies.

According to Airbnb data, UAE users of the platform have increased by 63 per cent year or year, welcoming 145,000 guests from around the world over the past 12 months.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with both Dubai Tourism and in Ras Al Khaimah to promote tourism diversification and encourage responsible hosting.

In Abu Dhabi, Airbnb partnered with the Department of Culture and Tourism to launch Emirati Experiences, which allow guests from around the world to live like locals.

Airbnb has not been without its controversy in the region, however. Earlier this month, Palestinians were calling on people to boycott the rental site after it reversed its decision to delist around 200 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The #deactivateairbnb campaign, organised by the Ramallah-based Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, was launched to coincide with Nakba Day on May 15.

However, Airbnb remains popular in other parts of the Middle East. With the average room rate in Dubai around $185 (Dh679), the emirate was ranked as the fifth most expensive in the world in the Bloomberg World Airbnb Cost Index 2018.

“We want to inspire more Arabic speaking travelers to explore their favourite destinations through authentic, local stays and Experiences on the Airbnb platform,” said Hadi Moussa, Airbnb’s regional manager for Middle East & Africa. “Arab hospitality is famous around the world. Airbnb wants to encourage more people in the region to host and share this warm welcome with guests from around the world.”

Bursting with jewel tones and plush furniture, this two-bedroom Dubai Marina apartment not only offers stunning views of the city’s skyline, but also a convenient and colourful base for those wanting to explore.

Prices from Dh315 per night.

Cozy four bedroom apartment – City walk
While this apartment may be cozy, its quirky décor makes it an interesting base for a stay in Dubai. The eccentric space can sleep up to eight guests, and is within a 10-minute walk of the Burj Khalifa and Jumeirah Beach.

Prices from Dh367 per night.

Ras Al Khaimah
The Hide
For something a little different, The Hide is a farmstay in RAK which offers guests the chance to cook with some of the fresh produce grown on site including chilis, tomatoes and corn. The Hide can accommodate up to 15 guests and comes with its own pool and children’s play area.

Prices from Dh1,884 per night.

Kerosheba Yacht - Al Jazirah Al Hamra
For those looking to spend a weekend away from dry land, a stay on board the Kerosheba Yacht will help you find your sea legs. This traditional yacht can sleep up to six guests in its close-knit quarters, complete with a dining area, cooking facilities and a sun deck.

Prices from Dh496 per night.

Abu Dhabi
Ocean Villa - Zaya Nurai Island
For a taste of luxury, this waterfront villa on Abu Dhabi’s private island Zaya Nurai will be the perfect escape. With glass on all sides offering uninterrupted sea views, this villa can sleep up to 10 guests, and gives you access to the island’s facilities, as well as a private pool.

Prices from Dh20,390 per night.

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