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 for entrepreneurs to grab the best business opportunities in Dubai. 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.

In this article, we will discuss the application procedure for a freelance visa UAE, the documents required during the application for a visa, and the living costs for freelancers in Dubai.

Freelance Visa UAE

A Freelance Visa is a type of residency visa that allows individuals to live in the UAE without the sponsorship of a company or individual. It is obtained through a freelance permit, which is a work permit for freelancers granted by various licensing authorities, mainly in free zones located in almost every Emirate.

What are the UAE Freelance Visa Requirements?

Freelance visa dubai cost

The UAE government has made two documents mandatory as a part of the authentication process to start working as a freelancer in the country-

1) Freelance visa UAE

2) Work permit

These are the two documents without which you cannot initiate a gig in the UAE.

The freelance visa UAE – 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 UAE freelance visa, you can live in the “city of gold” and start your freelance business there.

But a UAE 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.

UAE Freelancer Visa For Non-residents

If you are a foreigner, you need to apply for a UAE freelance visa with which you will be able to live and work in the emirate as a freelancer. 

UAE Freelancer Permits For Residents

If you have a family member who stays in Dubai and can be your sponsor, then you need to apply for a freelance permit.

Professionals in the field of: Can obtain a UAE freelance visa through:
Finance Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development
Media Dubai Media City
Education Dubai Knowledge Park
IT Gofreelance.ae
Designers Column 2 Value 5

Freelance Visa Dubai Cost

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)

Step-by-Step Guide: Freelance Visa UAE

  • 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. 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 UAE residency permit has become easier, promoting a revamp in the work style and attracting many young talents to Dubai to benefit from the favourable 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.

What is the procedure to apply for a freelance visa UAE?

To apply for a Freelance Visa in the UAE, follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a freelance permitWait for approval
  2. Visit the business centre
  3. Apply for your Freelance Visa
  4. Complete residency visa procedures

Can I get visas for my family if I have a UAE freelance visa?

If you possess a UAE Freelance Visa, you have the option to sponsor visas for your family members, but there are specific conditions that need to be fulfilled. These include holding a valid residence visa, earning a minimum salary of AED 4000 per month, providing evidence of accommodation, and acquiring health insurance for your family members.