The concept of Airbnb was born when two hosts opened up their San Francisco home to three guests in October 2007. In March 2008, the company took its first official bookings, and by August of the same year, demand was such that the founders developed a bespoke payment platform – which has since gone on to handle over USD 70bn in guest and host transactions.
Today, Airbnb is a household name with rentals on offer in almost every country in the world. The company lists over four million hosts and has handled more than 1.4 billion guest arrivals over the past 16 years.
As well as rooms, guesthouses and apartments, Airbnb now lists boats, caves, castles, treehouses, planes, igloos and much more. All this is on top of a broad range of attractions and experiences.
The UAE has played a significant role in this success story. The abundance of attractive, high-quality real estate out here is perfect for both hosts and guests alike. As a result, Dubai now ranks in the top ten destinations for total active Airbnb rentals, with almost 16,000 on offer. This puts the emirate in the company of London, Paris and New York, which took the top three spots.
Dubai is also the most profitable location in the world for Airbnb landlords, ahead of Hilo in Hawaii, Hanoi, Nairobi and Niagara Falls. Apartments in the area surrounding the Burj Khalifa achieve average nightly rents of USD 1,150.
Airbnb’s meteoric rise to the top of the global hospitality industry shows no signs of slowing any time soon. In 2022, the company posted record revenues of USD 8.4bn, up 40% from the previous year. Meanwhile, all-time host earnings tipped USD 180bn in 2021, with the average host in the US generating USD 13,700 over the year.