If it’s about providing the best ecosystem for a business or new technology to flourish, then UAE has always come forward and done its best to grab the opportunity of giving the best infrastructure and environment to businesses.
The “gig economy” is a way of working chosen by many these days, so how can the UAE miss out on it? UAE has introduced laws and regulations that promote Dubai and make it the best spot for freelancers to work and earn.
Places such as twfour54, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Knowledge Park, and Dubai Design District provide a wide range of freelance visas to work in the UAE.
In this article, we will discuss the process of obtaining a freelance visa in detail, the documents required during the application for a visa, and the living costs for freelancers in Dubai.
What are the Requirements for Freelance Visa in UAE?
The UAE government has made two documents mandatory as a part of the authentication process to start working as a freelancer in the country. The freelance residence visa and a work permit are two documents without which you cannot initiate a gig in the UAE.
The freelance visa- is issued under the Dubai Development Authority(DDA). It is a document that approves you as a legal contract in the country. This visa is valid for three years, after which you will need to renew it from the authority. With a freelance visa, you can live in the “city of gold” and start your freelance business there.
But a freelance visa is not the only way to enter the city, the regulations have initiated other ways for freelancers and top talents to get into the country.
Freelancer visa for a non-resident:
If you are a foreigner, you need to apply for a freelance visa with which you will be able to live and work in the emirate as a freelancer.
Freelancer permit for a resident:
If you have a family member who stays in Dubai and can be your sponsor, then you need to apply for a freelance permit.
To attract the best freelancers and students across the world, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority(Dafza) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs(GDFRA) initiated the Dubai Talent Pass- a freelance license. Freelancers who need office space can search through all types of rental offices provided by Dafza and select their ideal work office.
Dafza is the special authority that was launched with the aim to make the emirate the best global destination for talented youngsters. Through the initiative, Dafza gives you access to its rich networks of entrepreneurs and customers.
|Professionals in the field of:||Can obtain a visa through:|
|Finance||Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development.|
|Media||Dubai Media City.|
|Education||Dubai Knowledge Park|
|Designers||Dubai Design District|
Cost of a freelance visa in UAE:
The UAE freelance visa cost changes based on the jurisdiction selected.
There are various jurisdictions like Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone (RAKEZ), where the price of a freelance license starts from AED 15000(as of 2018), or the Twofour54 jurisdiction that comes under Abu Dhabi and offers a freelance license at AED 2500(as of 2018).
A freelance visa in UAE price ranges from around AED 2500 – 25000( 2018 data) and can fluctuate depending upon the field and the applicant’s requirements.
|Type of Document||Cost|
|Freelance permit||AED 7500|
|Establishment card||AED 2000|
|Employment visa||AED 2750(3-years visa)
AED 5000(5-years visa)
Freelance Visa UAE Step-by-Step Guide:
- Obtain the Freelance permit: You need to get a freelance permit from the Freezone you wish to work under in the emirate. The Gofreelance platform set up by the TECOM group is a freelancing website like Upwork and Fiverr. Through Gofreelance you can start freelancing by bidding on projects and establishing your independent network.
- Get the Establishment card: An establishment card helps you bring your employees with the help of work permits to Dubai or any other emirate you want to apply. You can only apply for the establishment card with a freelance permit and UAE phone number.
- Final approval: After submitting the application form for a freelance permit, you will get an entry permit that has a validity period of 60 days. The residence visa is stamped- by the authority, after which you can start your freelance operations in the city.
The UAE government has made many changes to open the gates for freelance artists and entrepreneurs. The high costs and visa regulations made it impossible for freelancers to see Dubai as a viable option to set up their gigs. But with the policy changes made by the UAE government, getting a visa and residence permit has become easier, promoting a revamp in the work style and attracting many young talents to Dubai to benefit from the favorable regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Is freelancing legal in the UAE?
To work as a freelancer or Independent contractor, you must get a freelance license from the UAE government.
What is the tax cost of living in Dubai?
Residents do not need to pay taxes in Dubai however you are required to pay VAT income tax if the income is above AED 375 per annum.
Can I bring my family with me as a freelancer in Dubai?
The Dubai government lets you sponsor your parents or your spouse through a freelance visa. By getting an entry permit and following certain verification procedures you can easily get your family to stay with you in Dubai.
What is the cost of a freelance visa in Dubai?
The cost of a freelance visa in the UAE depends upon the jurisdiction under which you wish to work as a freelancer. The cost varied from AED 2500 to AED 25000 as of 2018.