How can you Start a Part-Time Business Setup in Dubai?

by Zaara 28, Dec 2021

How can you Start a Part-Time Business Setup in Dubai?

Gone are the days when the UAE was known for its trade of oil and petrochemical products. Now it is a hub for unlimited business opportunities. Moreover, Dubai, the commercial capital of the UAE, has progressed by leaps and bounds over the last few years. The country brings new and reformed laws to help its startups, entrepreneurs, and SMEs grow toward success.

In a landmark move last year, the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization (MOHRE) implemented a new system that would permit employees to work for more than one employer without obtaining approval from their primary employer.

Wannabe entrepreneurs like you can take advantage of this law and will allow you to take on part-time work in addition to their permanent roles.

Nonetheless, the notion of part-time working is relatively new in the Emirates. And while innovative law was passed earlier in 2018 to facilitate more part-time work, it is not yet widely understood. And that is where we come into the picture. In this blog, we’ll explore the process for getting a part-time work permit in the Emirates, and cover everything you need to know to apply.

Critical Factors of Part-Time Work in the UAE

Here are the main factors required for obtaining a part-time work permit.

You are Currently Employed by someone else.

Suppose you currently have an agreement working full time for someone else. In that case, you will have to receive a no-objection certificate (NOC) from your primary employer, verifying that they agree to you taking on the extra work. This means you will have to have ‘the conversation’ with your boss about why you need that extra money.

You are Completely Working Part-Time

As of March 2018, a new legal framework (Ministerial Decision No. 31) came into effect, permitting employers to hire part-time workers – although they must work a minimum of 20 hours for their primary employer. After that, the employee can work as much as they want for other people, without needing a NOC from their prior employer.

In either case, this new law only applies if your employer is having a mainland business. If you are currently working for a UAE free zone company, then the new rules don’t apply to you. The laws in free zones are different from contracts on the mainland, and you will therefore need to enquire with your free zone’s authorities to find out what you can and can’t do.

Procedure to Apply for a Part-Time Work Permit

The process of obtaining your work permit for a part-time job is relatively simple and straightforward, as outlined by MOHRE.

  1. Visit a Tas’heel service centre to print out your application form with supporting documents
  2. The authority will then check and verify your application with the documents
  3. Receive your approval notice

The documents mentioned in the first step are -

  • A copy of the trade licenses of all the businesses you plan to work for
  • A copy of your passport
  • A colour photograph of yourself
  • Any relevant academic qualifications
  • A NOC from your sponsor (if needed)
  • A letter of approval from government authorities as required
  • A copy of your new work contract
  • A copy of your residency visa which is valid for more than 6-months

For ex-pat workers, a part-time work permit is currently set at six months – so you will need to update the license if you hope to continue working part-time for a more extended period.

Cost to Obtain a Part-Time Work Permit

The cost of the application is relatively low but is always paid by the employer who is recruiting the part-time employee:

  • Initial application: 100 AED
  • Approval of the permit: 500 AED
  • Tas’Heel processing fees

The cost may vary depending on different scenarios. Nevertheless, we can help you with the process.

Working part-time is a relatively new concept in the country and is not currently that well understood. There are still quite a few red-tape hoops you’ll need to jump through, and the necessity to get a no-objection certificate from your current sponsor can make a move a little tricky for people that are looking to save enough money to establish a business. All the same, some recent law changes show that the political will is there to support people who want to cut down the number of hours they work and find a part-time contract that suits them better.

Whether you are looking for more information on part-time visas, applying for a work permit, or looking to find out about how to start a company in Dubai or the wider UAE, our specialists at Commitbiz have all the answers. Contact us today to book an appointment.


Can a full-time employee start business in Dubai?

Yes, you can.

Should my employer know about my side business in Dubai?

Yes, you need to get a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your employer.

Can my company have the right to reject my NOC application for my business?

Yes, the company can reject. 

What to do if my NOC is denied by my employer?

There are other options like

  • Using your spouse’s visa

  • Selecting a free trade zone that doesn’t require NOC

  • Acquiring a DED instant license

Can I set up a part-time business in any part of UAE?

Yes, you can

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