In a continued effort to diversify UAE’s employment and investment environment, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development has announced the introduction of a new “Freelancer License”. The license will enable 48 types of business activities to be conducted in Abu Dhabi, available to UAE citizens, residents, and non-residents.
Overview of Freelancing in the UAE
In the UAE, many of the residents want to earn some additional income apart from their salary due to the high cost of living to maintain a good standard of living. Normally people are confused about part-time work and freelancers. Freelancing is basically working or run the business legally with a valid trade license. Part-time work is illegal unless you get a separate permit from the ministry of labor of the emirate you are living in. You can get the freelancer permit license with one or more people and enjoy the ownership of the company, open a separate company bank account; separate business address, etc. under the freelancer permit, you are legally allowed to run the business or work here.
Freelancing is legal in the UAE, and you can set yourself up as a full-time freelancer. You can pick and choose the jobs you accept and work your own hours, but you will not receive benefits such as medical insurance, sick leave, or holiday pay. You will need an employment visa from the Ministry of Labor, and there are three main options.
Temporary Work Permit: You can get a temporary work permit if you are to be employed by a company for a maximum six-month contract.
Part-Time Work Permit: Alternatively, if are working full-time you can also apply for a part-time work permit with a second employer; you will need a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your existing employer though.
Freelance Work Permit: The easiest and most flexible option though is to get a freelance work permit from a free zone, which allows you to live and work in the UAE under the sponsorship of that Free Zone Authority (FZA).
Abu Dhabi Freelancer License
Abu Dhabi has recently introduced new freelancer licenses to allow foreign nationals to conduct 48 types of business activities in the emirate. The move is an attempt to create more flexibility in the jobs market and boost private businesses in the services sector, it reported. To date, most foreign nationals have had to be employed by a company to win the right to work in Abu Dhabi.
The License will be available to UAE residents, non-residents, and citizens. Applicants must prove relevant expertise in the activity they are seeking to be licensed for and this can be in the form of a university degree, a certificate of experience, or accredited accomplishments in the specific activity.
Requirements for the UAE Residents
If the applicant is a UAE resident, they will be required to obtain prior approval if employed in public or private sector firms, if their current employment is similar to the desired activity (in which they are seeking the Freelance License). Prior approval should be obtained in the form of a no-objection letter from their current employer. Applicants are also able to apply for residence visas under this route, as well as for any accompanying dependents. The Freelancer License will allow workers to work remotely or from authorized locations, without needing to have an office space. It will also enable businesses to employ individuals in specializations periodically, without the need for a long term arrangement, in addition to taking advantage of the broad specialisms available in the market. Individuals, including specific groups such as students, retirees, and housewives will have the opportunity to boost their income through the Freelance License.
Activities Included in the Freelancer License
Under the terms of the recently issued resolution, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has identified 48 economic activities that can be practiced with a freelancer license. The freelancer license covers sectors such as consultancy in computer hardware and software, real estate, legal consultancy, public relations, fine art, and tourism. According to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the license will enable non-citizens to conduct their business activities from their residences or any other authorized location. All these 48 allowed economic activities are mentioned below:
- Working soap forming
- Parties and events organizing
- Tourist and recreation consultants
- Green buildings consultant
- Marketing consultancy and studies
- Information technology consultancy
- Translation publication services
- Heritage consulting
- Plastering and carving works
- Coordination of natural and artificial flowers
- Space consultancies
- Design services
- Consulting technical equipment
- Fashion and clothes designing
- Real estate consultancy
- Public relations consultancy
- Human resource consultancy
- Marketing consultancy in the field of energy
- Computer devices and equipment domain consultancy
- Handcrafted products and environmental works
- Landscape and gardening services
- Marketing operations management
- Parliamentary consultancy
- Economic feasibility consultancy and studies
- Administrative consultancy and studies
- Parties and occasions photography
- Lifestyle development consultancy
- Calligraphers and painters
- Agricultural extension services
- Plague resisting consultancy
- Procurement consulting
- Quality, standardization, and measuring consultancy
- Maritime consultancies services
- Commodities designing consultancy
- Project management services
- Network websites designing
- Jewelry design
- Statistical services consultancies
- Personal videography
- Banking services consultancy
- Artwork for cosmetic craft (sculpture)
- Consultancy project development
- Food safety consulting
- Photography services
- Architectural production and drawing technical consultancy
- Fine arts consultancy
- Logistics consultancy
Riz and Mona Consultancy
Do you want to start up your own business? The UAE, especially Abu Dhabi is certainly a great place to do that. You do though need an appropriate license, and for that, you’ve three options, that is a temporary work permit, a part-time work permit, and a freelance work permit. With the introduction of Abu Dhabi’s freelancer license, it is now a great time for people who are looking to earn extra money or work from the comfort of their homes. Our business setup advisors at Riz and Mona Consultancy can help you in deciding which license to opt for and look after the whole process, from application to receiving of the license. Contact us today to book an appointment.