Advantages of Freelance Permits in U.A.E. – IMC Group
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Advantages of Freelance Permits in UAE

Advantages of Freelance Permits in U.A.E.

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A freelance permit offers you an opportunity to work on your own as a sole practitioner or an independent contractor. Working like this is entirely legal in the U.A.E. if you have the required permit. However, it’s important to note that in the U.A.E., you can get the permit as an Independent Contractor only if you are pursuing some selected professional activities (most of which are media-related) that are approved by the government.

Information you would need

Freelancer contractors can apply for this work permit and residence from some selected free zones located in the U.A.E., which also let you to set up and run your business in your birth name that is equivalent to the brand name. Essentially, your profession should be related to the listed free zones activities which are principally media-related like artists, directors, editors, writers, photographers, producers, make-up artists, and other technicians in the field of TV, Radio and films.

There’s also a recent trend where many professionals and businessmen want to gauge the market before they plan to invest and establish a company in U.A.E. Taking a freelance permit provides entrepreneurs with an option to test the market without investing or risking a big amount.

A freelance permit slightly varies from setting up a start-up company. Many professionals or entrepreneurs start out with freelancing in the beginning and the gradually upgrade to a suitable and full-fledged setup as they get successful.

For many people, being your own boss or starting a side-business is like a dream come true. Therefore, freelancing seems to be the best option to begin with. Having said that, it does need a strong and structured business plan and a great insight and determination to get new clients on-board. It is obvious that you would require the right set of skills and passion to succeed.

As a freelance permit is offered by some specific free zones and as per the package, the freelancers can base themselves in one of these free zones either by using a flexi-desk option which is surrounded by other businesses who may need a freelancer’s services or by renting their own office space.

Please note that freelance permit registration and the relevant visa applications have an attached cost, therefore, you will require funds that separates saving account supported with at least 6 months expenses or may be even more.

Differences between Freelance Permits of Free Zones in Dubai and Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) Free Zone

Here are the differences between the Dubai Free Zones and the Umm Al Quwain Free Zone that you should be aware of to be able to apply according to your preference and requirements:



UAQ Freelance Permit Dubai Freelance Permit
NOC from the Sponsor Not needed Needed
Shared Desk Not needed Needed
Visa Validity 2 years 3 years
Sponsorship of Dependents Yes Yes
Auditing/Book keeping Not Needed Not Needed
Bank Account Personal Personal
Duration 4 – 5 working days 25 – 30 working days
Cost AED 22,000* AED 35,000*

Required Documents

The documents needed for applying for a freelance permit:

  1. Application form
  2. Proper Business Plan – Make a thorough business plan according to the definition of the particular freelance activity that you have opted for
  3. CV (along with your certificates an credentials)
  4. Passport copy and visa
  5. No-Objection letter or NOC (if you are a UAE resident): NOC given by the individual’s sponsor in case it is a Dubai Freelance permit
  6. 3 Reference letter(s): Official reference letters given by current or previous employers, person’s line managers or/and clients who recommend the person’s ability to perform a specific role, task or function
  7. Bank reference letter: A letter of decent standing issued by the individual’s bank certifying that the person holds a satisfactory account
  8. Latest Bank Statement for last 3 months
  9. Portfolio or samples of individual’s work

If it’s been your dream to be your own boss or be self-employed, or you want to discover the bliss of freelancing in U.A.E. or have your business setup in Dubai free zone, then get in touch with us.

For any assistance on Dubai company incorporation or JAFZA company formation, do contact us and we would be glad to assist you.

Author bio information

Johnson K Rajan

Mr. Johnson K. Rajan, is part of the management team at IMC. His core expertise lies in Trust advisory & Family office with several years of multinational experience in Wealth planning, External Asset Management, Fund Administration & Custodial Banking. A Registered Trust & Estate Practitioner with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) United Kingdom and an MBA from Bharathiar University, India. He primarily manages Client Advisory, Relationship Management & Business Development amongst other responsibilities in Advisory & Secretarial capacity on the board of client companies, managing large and key client relationships along with driving the identification, execution of new business opportunities.