Singapore proposes allowing Airbnb-type rentals, with tough conditions

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday published proposals for a regulatory framework for private home owners wanting to let out their properties for tourists. (Courtesy Airbnb)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Singapore proposes allowing Airbnb-type rentals, with tough conditions

SINGAPORE: Singapore on Monday proposed allowing private home owners to rent out their property for short-term stays but with stringent conditions, a move welcomed by home-sharing giant Airbnb.
It came after two Singaporean Airbnb hosts were fined SG$60,000 each this month for letting out apartments without official permission, underscoring the land-scarce city-state’s strict rules on short-term rentals.
The prosecution prompted criticism from the firm, which is a popular and often cheaper alternative to hotels, and authorities decided to examine the issue.
On Monday the government’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) published proposals for a regulatory framework for private home owners wanting to let out their properties for tourists.
Members of the public are invited to provide their feedback until May 31.
The proposal refers to private homes in the city-sate, which are usually gated, high-rise condominiums with strict security policies.
It does not cover the government-subsidized apartments where more than 80 percent of the population in the rich but land-starved country live.
The URA’s proposals included measures to safeguard the security and privacy of private home residents, including a short-term rental cap of 90 days per year and limiting the number of persons renting a unit to six.
A person wanting to rent out his property for short-term accommodation must also get majority support from the other homeowners in a condominium complex, according to the proposal.
Airbnb welcomed the suggestions.
“This public consultation is an important step for the significant number of locals who want to share their homes, and travelers who want a unique and authentic experience when they visit Singapore,” said Mich Goh, head of public policy for Airbnb Singapore.
Christine Li, head of research at real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield Singapore, said the proposed framework is unlikely to have a significant impact on the rental market due to the cap.
“Landlords are still dependent on longer-term tenants who are working and living in Singapore, rather than short-term tourists,” she said in a statement.
In some countries, Airbnb has faced criticism that it worsens housing shortages and squeezes the long-term rental sector.


Saudi tourism body considers funds for 6 tourism projects worth SR71 million

The funds will go toward developing a range of plans across the hospitality sector, including hotels, conference centers, infrastructure and tourist resorts. (SPA)
Updated 17 April 2019
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Saudi tourism body considers funds for 6 tourism projects worth SR71 million

  • Saudi Arabia’s vision on the tourism sector is based on its basic values and culture in the first place, followed by the economic importance and regional and international weight it enjoys

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced plans to fund 33 new tourism projects across the Kingdom, as part of a lending initiative to aid the sector in underdeveloped Saudi regions.
Abdul Majid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Nasser, the SCTH’s director general of tourism investment, said that the initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, approved proposals for 33 projects at a cost of more than SR1,100 billion ($294 million).
Al-Nasser added that a joint committee formed by the SCTH and the ministry was also studying funding for six other projects worth an additional SR71 million.
The funds will go toward developing a range of plans across the hospitality sector, including hotels, conference centers, infrastructure and tourist resorts. The hope is that, as well as highlighting the many attractions on offer in less-heralded parts of the country, the initiative will also lead to an upswing in job creation.
Saudi Arabia’s vision on the tourism sector is based on its basic values and culture in the first place, followed by the economic importance and regional and international weight it enjoys, as well as its value-based interaction with other communities.
Earlier this month, SCTH undertook registration of 1,127 artifacts and relics that it successfully managed to restore from America, in coordination with the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Some of the items recovered date back to prehistoric times.
The director-general of archiving and protecting antiquities at SCTH, Naif Al-Qannour, said the commission had stepped up its efforts to recover national treasures from inside and outside the Kingdom.
Al-Qannour added that many of the objects had been voluntarily handed over to the Kingdom by relatives of US citizens who worked in Saudi Arabia during the 1960s.