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A Guide to Freelance Work in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates have emerged to one of the most developed countries in the Middle East. Today, a lot of people from all corners of the globe come to UAE for work with different purpose. Not all of them come for business or with a job offer. A good number of freelancers also come to UAE due to the growing demand of such professionals and the excellent facilities that Dubai offers. In this article, we would take a look at some of the commonly asked questions about freelance work in Dubai. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you would have a good sense of direction when looking for freelance work in Dubai.

There are some very attractive freelance permit packages available. UAE residents who want to freelance in the media and education sectors can get freelance permit packages for an annual fee.

Is Freelance work in Dubai Legal?

Yes, you may freelance in the UAE! However, it is important to distinguish between part-time work and freelancing. Freelancing is working for yourself, where you are essentially a company made up of one person, which is perfectly legal as long as you are licensed to do so

What are the important permits and approvals needed for freelance work in Dubai?

To work in the UAE, whether as a freelancer or on any other job, you will need a residence visa and as well as a work permit.

What is the easiest way to become a freelancer?

One of the simplest ways to get qualified for freelance work in Dubai, is to apply for a freelance work permit and residence from a free zone (if you visa is not sponsored by your father or spouse).

There are a number of Free Trade Zones in Dubai that offer permits for freelance work in Dubai. They include Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Knowledge Park, and Dubai Design District. Apart from Dubai, you can also get freelance permits for Abu Dhabi’s TwoFour54 and Fujairah Creative City, RAKZE, Ajman Freezone. In most cases, it is required that your profession to be related to the activity of the free zone.

What are the activities that are allowed for freelance work in Dubai-UAE?

  • Actor
  • Aerial Shoot Photographer
  • Animator
  • Artist
  • Brand Consultant
  • Cameraman
  • Choreographer
  • Commentators: Radio, Events, Sports, Television
  • Composer
  • Content Provider
  • Copywriter
  • Creative Director
  • Critics
  • Director
  • Editor
  • Education Advisor
  • eLearning Advisor
  • Executive Coaching
  • Event Manager
  • Furniture Designer
  • Data Science and Analytics Freelancer
  • Customer Service Freelancer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Journalist
  • Lighting Specialist
  • Market Analyst
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Media Planner
  • Music Director
  • Musician
  • New Media Specialist
  • IT and Telecommunication Networking Freelancer
  • Photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • PR Specialist/Public relations
  • Presenter TV/Radio
  • Print Media Specialist
  • Producer
  • Researcher
  • Scriptwriter
  • Set and Exhibit Designer
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Special Effects Producer
  • Translator
  • Trainer
  • Wardrobe Stylist
  • Web Developer
  • Web Designer
  • Writer
  • Web, Mobile, Software Development and Architecture Freelancer

The freelance permit in Dubai officially identifies you as a sole practitioner. This also allows you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a company name. In most cases, the free zone will provide you with a shared office space and a shared PO Box.

What are the documents do I need for Freelance work in Dubai?

You will need to submit the following documents to get the permit for freelance work in Dubai.

  • Business plan
  • Bank reference letter (Optional)
  • CV profile
  • Degree certificate. They should be attested from UAE embassy in the country of origin as well as from Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE.
  • A copy of a no-objection certificate (NOC) from your current sponsor (if any)
  • A copy of your passport.

If one has a freelance permit from a free zone, can I contract with mainland or onshore companies?

Well, as a matter of fact, they are no strict restrictions on being contractually engaged by a mainland/onshore company. However, in some cases, there might be certain conditions depending on your activity and the free zone in which you are set up in.

I have a residence visa sponsored by my Spouse/Father, Can I engage in Freelance?

In any case, you will need a work permit if you wish to freelance work in Dubai. You can obtain a temporary work permit from the Ministry of Labour, provided that you are to be employed by a mainland company for a maximum period of six months.

You could also get a part-time work permit through the company you intend to work for. For both part-time and a temporary work permit, an NOC from your current sponsor would be required

These were some of the things that you need to know about freelance work in Dubai. At Emaraat Business Consultant, we help you by guiding you with practically everything. So, get the help of the experts and write your own story of success.

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