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Posted By: Jaya Tahalramani | 24 Feb 2017

Dubai Freelance Visa?You Need a UAE Permit First!




What You Really Must Know!

Here are the top 10 rules on freelancing in UAE or Dubai:

1.Is it legal to freelance in the UAE?

Yes, you can freelance in the UAE!  However many confuse freelancing with part time jobs.While   Freelancing is working for yourself, where you are in essence a company made up of one person, which is absolutely legal as long as you are licensed to do so.

2.Does it mean that I actually do need to apply for a license first ?

Yes you must apply for a licences first!  You will need to register for a Trade Licence pertaining to your business activity from your selected Licensing Authority, and adhere to their stipulations.

3.How would I know what type of licence I require?

The type of licence you need depends on the nature of the business you are looking to conduct.
There are two main ways of setting-up a business in Dubai and different licence options for both, which a business setup specialist can explain in detail. The first is through the Dubai Department of Economic Development and the second is through one of the many Free Zones (e.g., Fujairah or Umm-ul Quwain)

a) Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) Business Setup

The main licence types in the DED are:
1. Commercial (51 % local sponsor; 49 % foreign-owned), and;
2. Services/Professional/Consultancy (100 % expat-owned with a local Emirati service agent).

b. Free Zone (FZ) Business Setup

For the free zones, both of the above licence options apply, but the main differences are

1. The company is 100% Expat owned, and

2. You do not require any local partner or sponsor.

Dubai Freelance-Visas



4. If I’m not a resident, may I obtain a residency visa through one of these licence options?

Yes, you absolutely can!

5. Can I even freelance if I’m on my husband’s visa?

Yes!  You would first need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your husband as well as a labour card issued from the licensing authority/immigration office of the Emirate where the freelance company has been registered.

6. I’m working full-time but I’m interested in turning my hobby into a business.  May I obtain a licence even if I’m sponsored by my employer?

Yes, you can!  Most (not all) licensing authorities would request you to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer if you wish to start your own freelancer company.


7 How long will it take to get a freelance licence and setup my business?

Usually the process takes around 7-10 Days.


8. Do I need to rent office space?

The majority of licensing authorities do require you to have some sort of office space within their jurisdiction, be it something minimal like a flexi-desk or a smart office, which is often already built into the price of the company setup package offered. These packages are typically catered to fit the needs of freelancers like yourselves.

Some licensing authorities are even able to provide you with a Trade License without taking office space of any sort. However, under this option you wouldn’t be able to secure any residency visas on the company, so this option is best suited to a freelancer who already has a residency visa be it through their spouse, parent or current employer.


9. Do I have to get a freelance licence through a business setup specialist or can I do it myself?

Although you can do it yourself, but setting up a company in the UAE can be a very time consuming and draining process.Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use a business setup specialist as it is a more sensible and efficient option, 

There are so many things to consider when setting up a new business in the UAE, like obtaining your trade licence, applying for your visa, getting business cards printed and setting up your bank account. The business setup specialist takes care of all the admin, allowing you to focus your attention on developing and growing your business.


10. Required Documents:

  • Passport valid for 6 months.
  • Photographs with white background.
  • Your Resume.

For additional documentation and discuss the procedure please feel to contact me below;


Contact :

Suresh Kumar (Sr. Business Setup Consultant and Team Leader)


or Call




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