RIYADH: Saudi residents will be able to rent out rooms to tourists after a drastic change to the law which paves the way for Airbnb-style businesses.
The new bylaw — which was approved by the Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb — will allow a maximum of three permits issued per property.
These permits can last from one to three years.
The latest regulations ensure that the tourism sector keeps up with the renaissance that Saudi Arabia is undergoing and mirror the ministry’s efforts to achieve the goals of the development strategy for tourism in the Kingdom.
Al-Khateeb described the new laws as “a promising step toward a prosperous tourism future” in a tweet.
“These regulations would allow the ministry to strengthen cooperation with the private sector, and to offer job opportunities for the national competencies in the tourism sector,” Al-Khateeb said
In order to apply for a permit, the ministry has outlined several conditions which have to be met by the applicant.
The residence should be part of a property designated to either residential or agricultural use, and applicants must be Saudi citizens.
They should also provide an electronic title deed or an electronic lease contract proving the usufruct right of the property subject of the permit.
If the property is jointly owned, all those with a say must agree to the application.
The regulations also allow for flexibility in financial payments as per the facility’s capabilities.
Prior to the tourist’s entry, facilities should comply with its cleanliness and maintenance preparations.
In December, the Kingdom initiated 10 new policies aimed at expanding the tourism sector and protecting tourists, according to the Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb.
The issued policies included laws for the sector, as well as regulations for quality control and monitoring of services.