Back in 2016, Mohannad Sharafuddin, chairman of Arabian Falcon Holidays, had expressed his hope during a press interview, that Dubai’s Timeshare Law, reportedly in the draft stage that year, would be passed by year end.
When pressed regarding his outlook about the law, which still has not materialised nearly two years later, Manikis says: “My feeling is, they have to do it sooner rather than later. I think the market will push the authorities to actually regulate this business or introduce a legislation that protects the consumer, the seller, the developer, because the market needs this product.”
While he thinks the regulatory infrastructure is necessary to protect all stakeholders involved, it is Manikis’ opinion that the free market should still reign.
“Legislation can make or break an industry. Where we come from, as RCI and as Wyndham, is to introduce the right legislation so you can allow the market to grow. Create frameworks to protect the consumer and protect the developer but at the same time, allow the business to take care of itself,” he asserts.
“We believe that the government has a lot of vision; look at what they’ve done with branded residences, with mid-market hotels, it’s just getting to that vision sooner rather than later,” Manikis says, adding: “It’s going to happen; that’s no question. The question is: when exactly?”
Meantime, he says, RCI and Wyndham remain very much committed to Dubai and the UAE as a destination.
“It’s about planting the seeds in order for us to harvest when the right time comes. As a business, you have to be there early and commit from day one.”