How to Go About as a Freelancer in Dubai

by Zaara 10, Aug 2018

Freelancer in Dubai

Do you have skills that can bring you great opportunities yet doesn't know how to capitalize on them? Being a freelancer in Dubai can be an ideal solution. Read this blog to know more. 

Due to the high cost of living and maintaining a good standard, many residents in the United Arab Emirates want to earn some additional income apart from their salary. Freelancing is one of the options not just to earn extra income, but also be your own boss.

Becoming a freelancer in Dubai comes with a set of guidelines. One of the ways through which you can be a freelancer is to get a freelance work permit and residence visa (if not sponsored by your father or spouse) from a free zone. 

Know About - Freelance License in Dubai

Freelancing has now become a popular choice among the individuals in the Emirates, and thankfully, Freelance Permits are now available in many free zones. These permits allow for specialized individuals in the media, technology, and education sectors to offer their service on a consultancy basis, even if they have a full-time job- this initiative has become legalized by Dubai to boost diverse skills into the local market.

Currently, individuals based in the following sectors can apply for a permit, which is as under-

The activities allowed under the freelance permit Dubai are –

  • Web Mobile, Software Development and Architecture Freelancer
  • IT and Telecommunication Networking Freelancer
  • Data Science and Analytics Freelancer
  • Customer Service Freelancer
  • Education Advisor
  • Trainer
  • Researcher
  • Executive Coaching
  • eLearning Advisor
  • Actor
  • Animator
  • Artist
  • Brand Consultant
  • Marketing Specialists and much more

Pros and Cons of Freelance Permit Dubai

Any individual that wishes to work as a freelancer in the Dubai—either apart from their current job or as a complete freelancer—requires a freelance permit. You become the sole practitioner of the activity that you choose.

Having a freelance work permit poses several advantages and very few disadvantages. However, it's our responsibility to provide you with both so that you can choose if it suits you better.

Pros Cons
It is comparatively easier to obtain a freelance permit, with fewer procedures and documentation involved. Freelance access allows only you (the person named) to work in the organisation, preventing employee hiring from being possible.
Consequently, if you don't want your costs to go up, a freelance permit is the best choice,there are lucrative freelance permit packages for professionals in Dubai. A freelance license in Dubai can cost between AED 10,000 and AED 25,000 in total. Only in the case of a restricted collection of domains-education, fashion and media-can a freelance permit be given.
Provides you with freezone business centre access The Federal Tax Authority does not issue a tax registration number (TRN) to freelancers.

Things you must know before applying for Freelance Licence Dubai

  • With fewer papers, obtaining a freelance licence is comparatively more straightforward.
  • There are lower freelance licensing rates. For professionals in the Dubai, there are lucrative freelance permit packages.
  • The freelance support enables only the designated employee to work in the business. If the freelancer wishes to recruit staff, he must upgrade them to a trade licence
  • Only a small number of domains are given a freelance permit.
  • Working as a freelancer is a cost effective option. This way, you are allowed to work in a one-person business. You don’t even need to rent an office space for your business as Dubai free zones let you rent a workstation for that purpose.

Procedure to Obtain Freelance Work Permit Dubai

To get freelance jobs in Dubai, you need a license. Look below for the steps to obtain a freelance permit in Dubai in a simple and straightforward way.

Select a suitable location

Choose the free zone where you want to obtain your license from and apply there

Get your Approvals

You have to then submit an application for interim approval along with a business plan, reference letter, and a valid passport copy

Proceed after Confirmation

If your application is accepted, you will receive a customer confirmation letter from the respective free zone authority

Submit all the Documents

Sign the confirmation letter and resubmit along with the other documents specified above for final approval

Complete your Payment

Make all payments such as the freelance license fee, employee visa sponsorship fee and first instalment for rent or office space (optional) and other charges

Get your Permit and Visa

Sign the Freezone Sponsorship Agreement and obtain the Freelance Permit along with the freelance visa

Get Necessary Essentials 

On getting all the certifications and clearance, you can avail the Flexi-desk & business amenities within the Freezone and start your Freelance business in Dubai legally.

Documents Needed to Apply for DED Freelance License

Obtaining a freelance permit and getting freelance visa benefits the beholder in several ways. To obtain the permit, you need to submit certain documents to the Department of Economic Development.

  • Passport Copy
  • Passport-size photo
  • Updated CV
  • Two professional references (with contact details)

These simple steps can make you an official freelancer in Dubai. If you feel that you don’t want to go through the hassle of obtaining this license, then you can hire a business consultant like Commitbiz, who will be able to get this done for you. Contact us now.


1. What's the validity of the freelance permit?

The permit is renewable on an annual basis.  

2. Am I allowed to use a company name?

No. The freelance permit is issued under your name only.

3. What is the type of freelance activities and where can I view them?

At present, one can obtain a license in tech, media and education activities

4. How much time will it take to get the permit?

Once your application has been approved, it should take between 10 – 15 working days. 

5. If I currently have a full-time job, can I apply for a freelance permit only?

Yes, you need to provide a NOC letter from your sponsor and employer.

6. Will I need to set up a professional bank account?

As a sole trader, you should not have a registered company bank account under the same profession or industry you practice freelance in.

7. Which freezone is best for starting as a freelancer in Dubai

There is not a single free zone that is best in the UAE because each free zone attracts different clients.Some are designed for creative businesses, and others for technology, education or even medical services.

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