The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) recently launched the ‘Talent Pass’ license for freelance work. The initiative was directed by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

The new license will be offered to individuals from all over the world, with particular talents and knowledge. This license aims to attract global talent and experts in the industries of:

  • Media
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Art
  • Marketing
  • Consulting

About the “Talent Pass” Agreement

An agreement was signed between DAFZA, Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, DAFZA’s Executive Chairman, Major General Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, GDRFA’s General Director, and Hala Badri, Director General of the Dubai Culture along with the Arts Authority, all attended the event.

The MoU (agreement) establishes a framework for collaboration and coordination in the processing of licenses, visas, and other services. These services assist innovators in starting, operating, and expanding their businesses in Dubai. It is also aligned with Dubai’s strategy for the creative economy.

By 2025, Dubai’s creative economy strategy intends to develop the city into an international destination for innovation and creativity. It also seeks to increase the creative industries’ contribution to Dubai’s GDP from 2.6 per cent in 2020 to 5% by 2025.

Under the strategy, creativity covers several fields which include:

  • Writing and publishing
  • Print and audio-visual media such as cinema, music and video
  • Artistic and cultural industries
  • Historical sites
  • Archives
  • Major cultural events
  • Libraries
  • Software & video game industry

Benefits of “Talent Pass”

The ‘Talent Pass’ entitles its holders to a three-year residence visa. It also entitles them to an opportunity to rent office space from DAFZA’s diverse variety of modern office solutions. The office solutions include effective support and cost-effective operation. It also includes the ability to gain services remotely.

The license holders will have access to DAFZA’s enormous customer base, which includes International Corporations, SMEs and entrepreneurs.

The license holders will also have access to its digital platform. This will allow the license holders to contact clients for quicker access to employment, contracts, and services, thus expanding their customer base.

Evaluation of “Talent Pass”

As per the agreement, DAFZA will evaluate and process applications for the ‘talent pass’.

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni said: “This MoU supports our strategic plans for supporting the national economy by enhancing the role of commercial, investment and creative sectors in boosting the emirate’s GDP.”

“This license comes as a response to changing market requirements and the evolving business environment in Dubai, especially in the post-pandemic period. We seek to be creative individuals from around the world to the free zone, including specialized talent looking for opportunities in this market”, he further added.

“The license will enable the business community in Dubai to benefit from the expertise of creatives, specialists and professionals from all over the world. It gives them the flexibility to access diverse business services at competitive prices. This license will also attract more innovators to Dubai and widen access to professionals with a range of competencies”, he concluded.

The ‘Talent Pass’ is one of DAFZA’s six licenses. The portfolio includes:

  • A trade license for commercial activities like import, export, re-export and general trade license.
  • An industrial license for light manufacturing, packaging, and assembly.
  • An e-commerce license for online trading of goods and services.
  • A license issued in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development, allows DAFZA-registered businesses to apply for the department’s license without having to rent office space outside the free zone.
  • A service license for a variety of service-based businesses.

The Bottom Line…

The ‘talent pass’ is a way of attracting talent with unique skills to the market, especially the Dubai real estate market!

DAFZA’s current licenses are geared primarily toward the business, and service industries, rather than professionals. The new category will serve as a link between worldwide talent and a lucrative marketplace.

This appears to be a continuation of several initiatives aimed at boosting Dubai’s real estate market. Dubai appears to be concentrating on improving the real estate sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product. It has recently implemented several changes in this respect.

This is also a response to the post-pandemic situation’s changing business needs.