What Does Freelancing Mean?
The etymology of the word “freelancer” is an interesting one. Back in the middle ages, when kings and castles were the central authority for conducting economic affairs around towns and cities, two kinds of knights were allowed to serve in the kingdom. One who served the king exclusively, and the second who worked for anyone able to afford them. These knights were also known as freelancers.
While the concept of a freelancer hasn’t changed in the modern era, the kings and castles have been replaced by investors and businesses. More accurately in today’s terms, a freelancer is any individual, group or company that pursues a profession remotely without any long-term commitment to a single contractor. Today, the freelance industry is a multi-billion-dollar vehicle that extends to every part of the world. With the intervention of the internet, freelancing has emerged as a multi-dimensional profession that not only pays in top-tier salary and wages but also saves unnecessary time consumed during in-house hours.
As of right now, freelancing has grown into a highly lucrative work option for entrepreneurs and employed individuals. With the rising demand for freelancers in UAE companies, skilled workers and professionals from various fields such as programming, web development, designing, writing, and data entry are increasingly applying for freelance permits to earn extra income on the side.
Hiring Freelancers for UAE Business
Hiring freelancers is a viable option for companies that aim to save costs on hiring and maintaining in-house resources. Since freelancers are not extended any in-house benefits such as medical insurance, appraisals or allowances, hiring them for regular tasks can immensely save the company’s retention expense.
With the help highly collaborated and precise cloud-based applications and tools, freelance industry in UAE has experienced a major shift that now guarantees payment security, access to the database, documents, real-time communication and accurate tracking mechanisms. Some popular freelancing platforms used in by UAE companies to hire contractors include UpWork, Fiverr, and Nabbesh.
As a hotbed for freelancers, Dubai has achieved an unprecedented number of freelancers dispersed across various industries in UAE. In a report published by Bayt.com in 2013 revealed a stunning percentage of freelancers working for all types of businesses in UAE. According to the report, more than 50% of the region’s companies have outsourced their tasks to freelancers. At the starting quarter of 2016, the trend picked more steam as Nabbesh experienced 40% increase in freelance employment.
Working as a Freelancer in UAE
Working as an independent contractor in UAE requires a license to register with the relevant authority. By registering as a freelancer from DED or any Free Zone, the individual establishes as a one-person company, eligible to take on contracts from employers.
Freelancing is a promising profession in the UAE market. Abundance and diversity of business activities, outsourcing is a common corporate practice of UAE companies for assigning tasks that are time-taking and costly for an in-house resource.
The UAE government has greatly invested its efforts to facilitate freelancers through support forums, accelerators for startups and solo entrepreneurship workshops.
One of its major milestones was the introduction of entrepreneur Visa in 2014 that allowed foreign nationals offer their services as an individual, or establish a new company. This came as relief particularly for a freelancer who lacks a pipeline of client work and sufficient capital to start their own venture. Since then it has helped thousands of freelancers soundly establish their careers in UAE in different sectors.
Freezones that Offer Freelance Business License in UAE
There are numerous zones that are currently offering freelancing license in UAE. Places such as Umm Al Quwain (UAQ), Creative City Fujairah (CCF), Dubai Media City (DMC) and Twofour54 Abu Dhabi are among popular zones to apply for a freelance license. These zones offer a variety of packages and handle the licensing and registration process for the entrepreneur through the zone authority. To help the freelancer grow his/her clientele, the zone gives access to freelance networks for searching clients, affordable office space with flexi-desk options and other specialized facilities to help freelancers prosper in the zone.
Freelancer License Cost
Freelance license timeline and cost may vary depending upon where a freelancer chooses to apply.Generally, once the individual has applied for the freelance permit in UAE, the license will be issued within 7-10 days. As for the cost, the amount can range from AED 20000 to AED 25000, inclusive of Freelancer employment visa fees and other registration charges.
How can IBG help?
IBG Consulting Middle East has a long history of helping entrepreneurs and startups establish their foothold in UAE. Our experts provide the best solutions to fit your freelancer visa requirements and give premier guidance to grow your setup in Dubai. To apply for your freelance visa, contact our consultants now or visit our website ibgme.ae to learn more about our services.