The United Arab Emirates offers the best opportunity to start out on your own, but without the need to establish your own company and be associated with the hassles of running a business. By being a freelancer in the UAE, you can enjoy doing what you love the most.
Is work as a freelancer allowed in UAE?
The United Arab Emirates strives to live up its reputation as a global hub for trade and commerce. It recognizes that there may be instances where the nature of work does not warrant a long-term work contract. This is why it has come up with the Freelancer Visa to enable freelancers to carry out their business activity in the United Arab Emirates.
In the United Arab Emirates, commercial activity in each emirate is regulated by the respective Department of Economic Development. As such, the terms and conditions vary.
A freelance license is typically issued for two years and carries with it a resident visa. Those on a freelance work permit are allowed to sponsor their family as well. The family visa too would be valid for a period of two years.
How much cost for a freelance license?
A freelance license is issued only for certain professions or categories of work and there may be further restrictions.
In Abu Dhabi, for instance, freelance licenses are issued for those into Event Management, Tourism, Marketing, Information Technology, Public Relations, Horticulture, Design, Soap Forming, Jewellery, Fine Arts, Photography / Videography, Architecture, Logistics, Human Resources, Translation, Calligraphy, and other categories.
In Dubai, freelance work permits are issued for those working in the fields of Media, Education, and IT.
How can I get the freelance license in Dubai?
You could get a freelance license by applying with the respective Free Zone Authority for the following freezones – Dubai Production City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Design District, and Dubai Knowledge Park.
You could opt for a package that covers everything, including multiple visas for yourself and your family, a working space, medical insurance, PRO services (you needn’t worry about having a separate front desk or coordinating with Government authorities), as well as help applying for an Emirates ID and finding housing.
What are the documents required for a freelance license?
Typically, you will need
- A copy of your passport
- A passport-sized photograph
- An updated CV
- An Introduction about your personal and professional background, as well as work experience
- Details of work already done or planned to be carried out in the UAE**
- An expected income statement, plus a Bank reference letter
- Two references containing their contact details
- A work offer*
*In case you do not have a work offer, you will be issued a Sole Proprietorship License by the Free Zone Authority where you are applying.
**Those in the media sector will be required to furnish a portfolio of their work, while those in the Education sector have to make available copies of their educational certificates.
Need help getting a Freelance License in Dubai?
When applying for a freelance visa in Dubai, it is best to ask yourself – Do I have a work offer at the moment? If not, then it would be better to set up a consulting firm offering consultancy services in your respective field. You are still on a freelance work permit in Dubai, and the freelance permit Dubai enables you to be employed as a consultant.
It is so much more professional when you hand out business cards that carry the name of your consultancy firm, and remember, companies like doing business with professionals. Billing will also be so much more easier when it is a B2B transaction, so it is highly recommended that you set up your consulting firm when working as a freelancer in Dubai or anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates.
This is where you need the assistance of someone well-versed in company formation. At A&A Associate, this is precisely what we have been doing for years – helping entrepreneurs transform their dreams into reality. Our business setup consultants are all highly experienced, and can help you set up the right kind of consultancy firm, be it in a freezone or on the mainland, where it will be easier for your clients to get in touch with you.
If you have been thinking of going solo, but are unsure if there is a market for your services, you can commission a Market Feasibility Study. We would only be more than happy to help you with the details like size of the market, the existing / projected market demand for freelancers with your expertise, how much you can bill your clients, and so on. This will help you make a more informed decision before deciding to take the plunge.
Those on a freelance work permit in Dubai include social media influencers, actors, instrumentalists, musicians, news editors, makeup professionals, artists, sound engineers, light technicians, animators, journalists, local correspondents, writers, art critics, photographers, film producers, movie directors, theatre directors, music directors, orchestra conductors, marketing professionals, research analysts, choreographers, and more.
You do not need a Local Service Agent or a local partner for obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai. For more details, get in touch with us.