How to Go About as a Freelancer in Dubai

by Zaara 10, Aug 2018

How to Go About as a Freelancer in Dubai

Dubai, the Gold City, is a growing industrial centre. The city focuses on being an industrial hub in multiple sectors. The city has opened many doors for budding entrepreneurs for setting up a business. On the other side, it is also promoting freelancers to come to a step forward and establish their own companies in Dubai for the future. The program “Gofreelance” has been initiated by the TECOM group in July 2018, to increase the number of freelancers in Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Academic City.

Why Freelancing?

Freelancing is generally recommended for a person who seeks to be self-employed and doesn’t work as a full-time employee for others. It widens the scope for an individual to be one’s own boss.  People in different parts of the world have accepted freelancing. Freelancer in Dubai has been increasing rapidly. A company’s cost might come down to a great extent by hiring freelancers. There are different benefits that one can avail if he/she chooses to be a freelancer in Dubai.

Benefits for Freelancers in Dubai

  • Time flexibility
  • Being one’s own boss
  • Balance in work-life
  • Fewer expenses, higher profit
  • The option to carry out multiple projects simultaneously
  • Building one’s own brand
  • No office space required

Benefits for Companies Hiring Freelancers

  • Low hiring cost compared to permanent employees
  • Multiple options to choose freelancers
  • The freedom to hire industry-specific experts
  • A possibility of international hiring

Freelancing in UAE

Freelancing is a unique option. People find it much easier to manage a balance between their work life and personal life. Dubai, a multicultural city, is on a mission of completing various projects. They are seeking out for freelancers who can devote their convenient time and help in building the economy.  Dubai has come up with multiple projects in all different divisions and is on the way of getting them channelized through digitalization.

This creates a lot of opportunities for international investors to take their footsteps towards setting up their freelance business in Dubai. At the same time, the city also provokes professionals and experts to work as a freelancer so as to meet the projects at a speedy pace. Freelancers all around the world have got an awesome opportunity to work as per their flexible time and build their brand and later on set up a business in UAE. Dubai’s largest freelancer market Nabbesh has seen positive growth in the number of freelancers from the period 2013-2016, with a count of 90 thousand.

Top Professions to Work for as a Freelancer in UAE

The idea of working at one’s suitable time has occupied a wide range in due course of time. It has been almost applied to each of the professions. Some of the world’s top freelancing professions are:

1. Nanny

Working parents frequently need to call on freelance nannies to pick up the slack while they are in the office. While many families in the UAE hire live-in help and sponsor their nannies, there are still opportunities for part-timers, if they have a residence visa. You can earn up to Dh 800 to Dh 4,800 a month.

2. Personal Trainer

If you live in the UAE it can sometimes feel like every 10th person you meet is a freelance personal trainer. Certainly, they dominate the Instagram wellness space. And with so many in the market, it is still a well-paid job. The earning potential under this is Dh 30,000 to Dh 40,000 a month.

3. Tutor

To work as a tutor you need to have a residence visa, permission from your sponsor and be able to prove you are qualified, Tutoring and training adult clients is also allowed under the free-zone licences. Despite this, many teachers choose to freelance for an agency, which will either charge you a monthly fee to be covered by their work permit or take a cut of your hourly rate. Tutors in the UAE charge by the hour, starting at Dh350 and going up to Dh660, depending on their qualifications, and the academic stage of the child.

4. Journalist

Freelance journalists tend to be paid by the shift, or by the word. For an eight-hour day, the expected salary is between Dh 800 and Dh 1,000 depending on experience, and the timings.

5. Interior Designer

Interior design work is a booming industry in the UAE because people are spending more time at home and need a home office or somewhere for the children to study. For smaller projects or area remodelling, designers charge between Dh 3,000 and Dh 8,000, with bathrooms costing more than bedrooms because it is more complicated.

6. Life Coach

Life coaches help people when they get stuck in a rut, either in their personal life or in their careers. LinkedIn recently reported a 207 per cent growth in demand for life coaches in 2020 compared with 2019. The sky is the limit for established life coaches, who can charge as much as Dh 3,000 an hour.

7. Marketing or PR Professional

Marketing and PR are now often bunched together under the general title of communications, and there is a wide disparity between those who are just starting out in the industry and the more experienced marketing strategist. Freelance junior executives are normally hired on a month-by-month basis to work on specific projects, and their fees can start at Dh 6,000 a month and go up to Dh 14,000. Experienced marketing and PR professionals can demand a day rate of Dh 3,000 to Dh 5,000, depending on the client's requirements.

8. Make-up or Hair Artist

Self-employed make-up artists and hairstylists have reaped the benefits of a beauty boom, with many availing themselves of the new free-zone licences to work in the country. The fee stylists can earn depends on the client. The pay at a corporate photoshoot can vary between Dh 1,000 and Dh 3,000 for a nine-hour day.

9. Web Designer

Every company is now expected to have a digital presence of some sort, leading to a huge growth market for web designers. Designers charge according to the style of the website desired by the client. For example - fees for an e-commerce site start at Dh 8,000, up to Dh 25,000, and take about four weeks of work.

These professions deal with the art of creativity and pertain mostly to professional services in UAE. Creativity is something that stands as an irreplaceable key. Thus, if you are a freelancer and you possess the creative qualities hidden inside you, go for global freelancing. It will help you gain awesome exposure in every single step.

How to Pursue Freelancing in Dubai?

Well, to start your career as a freelancer in Dubai, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Fill the application form for freelancing
  2. Submit your business plan, along with a copy of your passport, and your qualification certificates
  3. Provide your No-Objection Certificate (NOC) stating the transfer of residence visa to freelancer visa
  4. Procure a certificate from the bank stating that you have a satisfactory bank record

Procedure to Obtain a Freelancer License Dubai

To work as a freelancer in Dubai, you need to obtain a freelance UAE license. Here are the steps you can follow to get a freelance license in Dubai:

  1. Apply with a free zone to hold a license
  2. Submit an application along with a copy of your passport
  3. Subsequently, you’d receive a customer confirmation letter, which must be signed and submitted back
  4. Pay all the necessary clearance payments
  5. Collect the certificate that will be approved by UAE free zone for freelancer visa
  6. The freelancer license UAE will be issued within 7-10 working days

The freelance license Dubai cost depends on the free zone you choose to get your license from. The fees change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Get in Touch with Commitbiz to Obtain your Freelance License in Dubai

Do you also possess creativity inside you? Bored of following a 9-to-5 routine and want to be your own boss or a global expert in your profession? What’s stopping you then? Confused to take your first step? Don’t worry. We are here to help.

Commitbiz is a business consulting platform that provides a platform for freelancers and companies that want to set up business in Dubai. Our business experts will help you in getting the appropriate license and help you to be a global freelancer. For more information, do contact us – we would be happy to assist you in the process.


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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