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With a shortage of hotel rooms during peak periods, Dubai has legalized vacation rentals and its tourism board has struck a marketing partnership with HomeAway.

HomeAway displays hundreds of Dubai vacation rentals on a new United Arab Emirates site, available in Arabic and English, and under the partnership Dubai Tourism and HomeAway plan on conducting joint campaigns to promote vacation rentals in Dubai.

HomeAway has primarily acquired vacation rentals sites or invested in them, such as the $2 million it put into Turkey’s┬áHemenkiralik site last month, to extend its reach so the partnership with Dubai Tourism is a supplement to its prevailing growth strategy.

“We’ve never worked with a tourism board like we will with Dubai,” says HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples. “They have agreed to display HomeAway listings on and we plan on leveraging each other’s reach to consumers for joint-marketing campaigns that promote Dubai vacation rentals. It will be the first campaign of its kind.”

In other words, this is the latest distribution deal for HomeAway, which also has agreements with Expedia and Kayak.

Under Dubai’s new vacation rental law, properties must be professionally managed and they get verified by Dubai Tourism. HomeAway’s sales team then helps them list on the new site.

Dubai Tourism has a goal of attracting 20 million visitors to the emirate by 2020 and officials believe they can get closer to achieving that goal by promoting vacation rentals to HomeAway’s customer base.

HomeAway is marketing Dubai listings like this: “Enjoy an affordable, comfortable and authentic stay compared to 5-star hotels. Travel like a local.”

Tags: dubai, homeaway
Photo Credit: Dubai is now licensing vacation rentals and owners are marketing them through HomeAway. HomeAway