Freelance Permits In UAE – Differences & Benefits

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Freelance permit allows you to work on your own as an Independent Contractor/ Sole practitioner. This is completely legal in the UAE as long as you hold the essential permit.

NOTE: In UAE, one can obtain the permit as an Independent Contractor only on selected professional activity (mostly media related) approved by the government.

What You Need To Know

Freelancers may apply for permit and residence from a selected number of free zones in UAE which enables you to conduct business in your birth name equivalent to brand name. Basically, your profession needs to be related to free zones activities which are predominantly media related such as artists, editors, directors, writers, producers, photographers, make-up artists, technicians in the field of film, TV, Radio.

Off late a lot of professional entrepreneurs want to test the market before they even want to invest and setup a company in UAE. Freelance permit gives entrepreneurs an option to test the market.

Freelance permit slightly varies from establishing a start-up company. A lot of professional entrepreneurs initially start out freelancing and eventually upgrade to a proper setup as they get established.

For thousands of people it is more than a dream to become their own boss or people who have been working here for some time but want to start a side-business in the meantime, Freelancing is the best option to start with, however it needs a strong business plan & determination to  get the clients on-board.

It’s obvious that one needs to have the right skills, passion and drive to succeed.

Freelance permit is offered by selected free zones and the package allows the freelancers to base themselves in the free zone either by renting an office space or using a flexi-desk surrounded by other business who might require freelancer’s services.

Freelance permit registration & Visa applications come at a cost so you will need funds that separates saving account backed with 6 months expenses or more.

Difference Between a Dubai Free zone & Umm Al Quwain Free zone Freelance Permit

Below is the difference between Dubai & Umm Al Quwain Free zone that you need to know in order to apply based on your preference & requirements:



UAQ Freelance Permit

Dubai Freelance Permit

NOC from the Sponsor

Not required


Shared Desk

Not required


Visa Validity

2 years

3 years

Sponsorship of Dependents



Auditing/ Book keeping

Not required

Not required

Bank Account




4 – 5 working days

25 – 30 working days


AED 22,000*

AED 35,000*


Required Documents to apply for freelance permit

  1. Application form
  2. Business Plan (template attached) – prepare a business plan as per the definition of the freelance activity that you chose.
  3. CV (Certificates & Credentials)
  4. Passport Copy & Visa Page
  5. NOC (if UAE resident): No Objection Letter provided by the individual’s sponsor in case of Dubai Freelance permit.
  6. 3 Reference letter(s): Official Letters provided by current/ previous employers, line managers or/ and clients recommending the individual’s ability to perform a particular task or function
  7. Bank reference letter: A letter of Good Standing issued by the bank certifying that the individual holds a satisfactory account.
  8. Latest Bank Statement for 3 months
  9. Portfolio / Samples of works

If you are dreaming of becoming your own boss or if you want to be employed & self-employed at the same time, you can contact us for a free consultation & registration services.

Discover the joy & freedom of freelancing in United Arab Emirates

“We have specialist in processing, renewing & cancelling all types of visas including Maid Visa, Family or Dependent Visa, Employment Visa, Ladies work permit and has hands on experience in dealing with government authorities during every stage of the process.  His other expertise are Company Formation including Dubai Mainland or LLC Company, Free Zone Company & Offshore Company, De-registration or Liquidation of Company, VAT Registration & VAT Filing Services.”

For any further assistance or free consultation you can contact on +971 50 911 0516 or drop an email here[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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