In a historic and unprecedented move, the UAE Government has unveiled a series of changes in its Islamic personal laws. The new law permits unmarried couples in UAE to stay together without any consequences. Until now, it was illegal for unmarried couples or unrelated flatmates to live together or share a home in the UAE. The new rules are applicable with immediate effect. The laws pertaining to alcohol consumption, divorce, and women’s rights have also been relaxed.
The core objective behind these amendments is to make the UAE more welcoming for expats and tourists. Cohabitation reforms will fuel a flurry of commercial activities in the UAE as it gets ready to host the World Expo in Dubai which is expected to be attended by more than 25 million international visitors and will attract billions of dollars of investment into the economy. The high stake event was pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and will now take place in 2021.
The Impact of New Laws on UAEs Real-estate Sector & Economy
The experts perceive the changes made to the UAE laws as a giant leap in the process of granting greater personal freedom to the residents as well as to the UAE’s 88% population of expats. The introduction of cohabitation laws will have a favorable impact on tourism to the UAE and will spur the demand for both commercial and residential accommodation in the region. This is indeed very positive news for the UAEs real-estate and property management sector. Furthermore, hiring a trained and qualified workforce has been a long-standing challenge for the UAEs real-estate and property management sector. Relaxing the cohabitation laws will allow the sector to retain the top talent into local businesses.
The relaxation in cohabitation laws will also attract an influx of Israeli investors to substantially contribute to the UAEs real-estate sector following a historic US-brokered deal to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel. The real-estate sector will also be positively impacted by the reinforcement of UAEs position as the most attractive and tolerant places to live within the Middle East region, which would open new avenues of international investment and business opportunities in UAE. These changes will also help revamp the local legal landscape for expats which is expected to have a positive impact on the overall economy and will also boost international investor’s confidence ahead of the World Expo.
The approval of new laws will protect individualism and foster foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UAE. According to the prominent media firm – Bloomberg, cohabitation laws are part of UAEs efforts to attract foreign experience and investment and play a pivotal role in building the open-minded image of the UAE. They will also open doors to millions of international tourists, fortune-seekers, and businesses to the UAE which is already very popular across the globe as a skyscraper-studded destination.
OYO Life: ‘Thriving on the Idea of Cohabitation
OYO Life is India’s long-term fully managed housing rental solution company. The company was founded on the idea of cohabitation which is forbidden in most of the residential accommodations or hotels in India and in many other countries where the company operates. The implementation of unique thought of cohabitation in India made Oyo Life one of the most successful startups in the country and a preferred choice of youth for accommodation.
Banking on their idea of cohabitation and offering budgeted accommodation to the youth, OYO Life clocked 4.5 times year-on-year (YoY) growth. The six-year-old company increased revenue to US$951 million for the fiscal year 2019, from US $211 million in fiscal 2018. In just a span of two years, Oyo Life has more than 10,000 units signed and over 6,000 live beds and is adding over 1000 new beds every month.
OYO Life success was later replicated by several other budgeted hotel chains in India such as – LuvStay and StayUncle who went on to taste the triumph.
OYO is one of the finest examples of how cohabitation can work wonders for a housing rental firm and simultaneously benefit other related sectors. The relaxation of reforms in UAE will make its real-estate sector more attractive for the world, foster tourism, bring valuable foreign exchange, positively impact the revenues of the real-estate sector, and will enhance the international image of UAE.