Work online in Dubai
The UAE is a very advanced country. The local Government is keen on attracting the smartest and the most talented people from all over the world to immigrate to Dubai and other Emirates to start their innovative and creative projects there. It provides the best conditions for startups in UAE.
However, even if you have any professional skills, such as programming, designing or teaching, it can be difficult to understand how to make a business out of it. To set up your own company is quite costly. A good solution, in that case, will be to register yourself as a freelancer at the initial stage.
How to work online in Dubai legally?
A freelancer is a person working for oneself, very often through the Internet. Online jobs have become very popular today. People prefer them because of the ability to work anytime and anywhere without a boss. Nowadays big corporations are happy to hire remote employees also. There is a couple of online aggregators in the UAE that help to connect freelancers and employers. The share of freelance workers in UAE is growing from year to year.
In fact, being a freelancer, you represent a firm that consists of one person. Your professional activities are legal only if you have a Freelancer License. This permission allows you to work legally in the country.
IMPORTANT! Freelancers in the UAE don't need to submit accounting statements or be subject to an audit.
A Dubai Freelance Work Permit is suitable for these categories:
- Technical professionals: developers of software, websites and mobile applications, experts of information security, network and system administration, web analysts, data scientists, and others.
- Educational professionals: teachers, tutors, trainers, coaches, consultants and so on.
- Creative professionals: actors, artists, writers, photographers, cameramen, musicians, marketing specialists, designers, PR specialists, editors, translators, journalists, copywriters, animators, bloggers, YouTube vloggers and more.
Anybody can be a freelancer: owners of any type of online business in Dubai, part-time job seekers, anyone who wants to turn their hobby into a business.
Where is it possible to get the license?
Freelance permits are issued by many free zones in the UAE. A free zone is a special territorial entity where expatriate citizens may found their own startups in Dubai with 100% foreign capital. It is not necessary to involve locals to take part in a business.
There are some popular free zone authorities where a freelancer license can be obtained:
- Twofour54 Abu Dhabi
- Ajman Free Zone Authority
- Umm Al Quwain
Creative City Fujairah free zone has a package called “Freelancer company”, but it is not a setup for a single freelancer. In fact, it is a normal commercial business package, which was given a name “Freelance” by the free zone authorities.
The annual license fee for freelancers depends on the licensing authority. Each zone offers different packages and services. Usually, a licensee gets a Flexi-Desk facility or a virtual office as a part of the package. This allows him to access the Business Centre of the free zone where he has a table and a chair. He can use the common office infrastructure, meeting rooms, telephone line, fax, Internet access, video conferencing equipment, and some other features.
What documents are required to obtain the permit?
If you decide to get the permit, you should apply to the representative of the selected free zone where you intend to hold a license and submit a set of documents. As a rule, it includes:
- Residence Visa (if you have it);
- Reference letter by the bank;
- Business plan;
- Recommendation letters;
- Certificates of education and diplomas;
- No Objection Certificate (a letter that confirms no objections of the main employer or other sponsors (husband/wife), if any).
After the approval of the application, you should pay the fee. In general, the registration process takes from 7 to 10 days. You will get a notification by email when your license is ready.
ATTENTION! Keep in mind that a Freelancer License and a UAE Residence Visa are different documents. Freezone business setup in UAE or obtaining a freelance permit will help you to get a residence visa if you need it.
So, if you decide to work as a freelancer you can apply for the permit by yourself. But if you aren't sure, you should contact business consultants in Dubai for help. They will tell you how to create a startup in Dubaiand also advise how to find partners, customers, promote your skills or product.