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Freelance Visa in Dubai

Lowest cost dubai residence

  • Dreaming of living and working in the UAE as a freelancer? Great news! Since 2019, the doors are wide open for tutors, coaches, musicians, artists, designers, and media pros like you. You can now legally offer your services across the country with a special freelance permit, and even make the UAE your permanent home.

  • Confused about all the different authorities and visa options? Don't sweat it! We're here to help you navigate the process and find the perfect fit for your unique freelance business. So ditch the 9-to-5, embrace the freedom, and let's unlock your UAE dreams together!

  • Sounds exciting? Let's chat!

What is a freelance visa and licence in the UAE?

Thinking of trading the cubicle for sunshine and self-employment in the UAE? You're in luck! The "freelance visa" is your ticket to living and working in the country without being tied to a company. Imagine: waking up in Dubai, setting your own hours, and building your business – complete freedom!


This visa acts like a special work permit for independent hustlers. You get it alongside a freelance licence, basically saying you're legit to offer your services across the Emirates. Cool, right?


Here's the nitty-gritty: the UAE issues these licences through different authorities, mostly within special zones called free zones. Think of them as mini-hubs buzzing with entrepreneurs like you. Most emirates have one, so there are options!


For instance, in Dubai, you could set up shop in Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, or Dubai Knowledge Park. Each zone caters to specific industries, so pick the one that fits your freelance magic.


Your visa will look like a regular UAE residency visa – a pink stamp in your passport – and be valid for 2-3 years. Sweet!


Now, here's the key: while the visa is optional (if you're already on another visa), the freelance permit is your must-have. It's what allows you to officially offer your services and charge clients. Consider it your freelancer badge of honour!


So, ditch the 9-to-5, say hello to sunshine, and get ready to unleash your freelance power in the UAE! Just remember, the permit is key, and picking the right free zone makes all the difference. Ready to explore your options? Let's get started!

Who can be a freelancer in the UAE?

Hold on, let's pump the brakes a bit! While the UAE opens doors to many aspiring freelancers, saying "anyone" can do it might be misleading. There are definitely some conditions to consider before packing your bags for freelance paradise.


Here's the real deal:

Anyone with the right qualifications and visa can thrive as a freelancer in the UAE. That's awesome news, but remember, qualifications and visa requirements vary depending on your situation.


Here's what you need to keep in mind:

  • Your residency status: Are you already living in the UAE or joining the party from abroad? Each path has different rules.

  • Your chosen profession: Not every profession gets the green light for freelance work. Check the official list to see if yours is included.

  • Your skills and experience: While degrees and certificates aren't always mandatory, some professions might require specific knowledge or experience.

  • Your financial situation: Certain visa options have minimum income requirements, so make sure you're prepared.


Don't worry, though! This doesn't mean your freelance dreams are out of reach. Do your research, explore the official UAE government websites, or consult visa agents. They can help you figure out your specific requirements and guide you through the process.


Remember, the UAE welcomes skilled and passionate individuals who contribute to their growing economy. So, if you've got the talent, the drive, and the willingness to meet the requirements, freelance success in the UAE could be your reality! Just make sure you do your due diligence before taking the leap.

Benefits of being a freelancer in the UAE

Ditch the cubicle, embrace the sun, and be your own boss!  Freelancing in the UAE unlocks a treasure trove of awesome benefits:


  • Say goodbye to micromanagement: Craft your own schedule, set your pace, and be the master of your time. No more clocking in, just pure productivity on your terms.


  • Work that fuels your soul: Ditch the projects that bore you and chase the ones that set your passion on fire. You'll be amazed at how much more focused and energized you feel!


  • ✈️ Holidays? More like "vacay whenever!" Escape the 9-to-5 grind and explore the world between projects. Imagine working remotely from a beach in Bali or a vibrant cafe in Paris!


  •  You call the shots: Make the decisions, reap the rewards, and build a business that reflects your unique vision. No more corporate ladders to climb, just pure entrepreneurial freedom!


  •  Live and work anywhere: The UAE is your launchpad. Work remotely from sunny Dubai, bustling Abu Dhabi, or anywhere your heart desires. The world is your office!


  •  Build a life in the sun: Secure a UAE residency visa (and even sponsor your family!), setting roots in one of the world's safest and most vibrant countries.


  •  Join the thriving community:** Over 60% of UAE residents dream of freelancing! Be part of a supportive network of independent professionals making waves.


Ready to turn your freelance dreams into reality? The UAE awaits with open arms. Just remember, research is key! Explore the official channels, understand the requirements, and choose the path that fits you best. With dedication and the right support, your freelance success story is waiting to be written. Go get it!

Legal Freelancing in Dubai: What Can You Do?

Upon securing an official freelance permit, freelancers can:


  • Offer services to private individuals and businesses

  • Raise invoices and receive payments

  • Collaborate with government agencies

Becoming a Freelancer: The Requirements

Dreaming of freelancing in the UAE but worried about mountains of paperwork and strict requirements? Worry not, aspiring freelancer! The process is actually quite streamlined for most professions.


Here's what you'll need to gather:


  • Passport copy (of course!)

  • Visa and Emirates ID copy (if you're already a UAE resident)

  • A friendly note from your current sponsor saying they're cool with you going freelance (applicable to residents only)

  • A recent photo to show off your amazing self

  • Your CV, highlighting your skills and experience

  • And if you're a creative type, a portfolio showcasing your best work


Once you have these documents, submit your application and voila! You'll be on your way to securing a residence visa, allowing you to live and soak up the UAE sunshine.

Where to get UAE freelance permit and visa

The UAE is like a giant sandbox for ambitious freelancers, with tons of licensing authorities offering freelance visas in Dubai and other emirates. The cool part? No matter where you get your permit and visa, you can work legally anywhere in the UAE!


So, which sandbox should you build your freelance castle in? Places like Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Knowledge Park are all popular options, but here's the catch:


  • Each authority caters to different business activities. Are you a social media whiz? Dubai Media City might be your jam. A coding guru? Dubai Internet City could be your haven.

  • Costs can vary depending on the authority. Think of it like renting different apartments in the sandbox; some have fancier perks (and price tags) than others.


Don't worry, figuring it out isn't rocket science! Here's what you can do:


  • Do your research: Check out the official websites of each authority to see what activities they allow and what the costs are.

  • Think about your business: What services do you offer? Which location best aligns with your field?

  • Get help: Visa agents and consultants can guide you through the process and recommend the best option for your unique situation.


Remember, the most important thing is to choose a location that feels right for you and your business. With a little exploration and the right guidance, you'll find the perfect sandbox to build your freelance dreams in the UAE!

Steps to Obtain a Freelance Visa and License in the UAE

So you're ready to ditch the office, embrace the sunshine, and become a freelance rockstar in the UAE? Awesome! Let's break down the steps to secure your freelance visa and licence:


Step 1: Find your freelance groove: What's your magic? Web design? Writing? Consulting? Knowing your professional field is key, as it determines the type of activity allowed and where to apply.


Step 2: Pick your freelance playground: Think Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Knowledge Park... different emirates offer different options. Research their activity lists and costs to find the perfect fit for your business.


Step 3: Apply for your freelance permit: Documents in hand, submit your application to the chosen authority. This permit is your official "work pass" as a UAE freelancer.


Step 4: Level up to a freelance visa: Permit secured? Time to apply for the visa itself! This grants you residency and, in some cases, lets you sponsor your family.


Step 5: Celebrate and collect! Visa approved? Boom! You're officially a freelance force in the UAE. Soak up the sun, build your business, and enjoy the freedom you've earned.


Remember, the two-year validity means you'll need to renew, but don't worry, the process is much smoother the second time around!


This is just a general overview, and specific requirements might vary. Don't hesitate to consult official websites, talk to visa agents, or ask the amazing community of fellow UAE freelancers for guidance. Remember, with a little research and the right support, your freelance dreams in the UAE are closer than you think!

Office Space for Freelancers in Dubai

While freelancers often work from home, some free zones offer shared office spaces. These co-working spaces offer a professional environment and networking opportunities.

Freelance visa in Dubai: procedure and options

Dreaming of living and working as a freelancer in the sun-soaked paradise of Dubai? Hold on to your laptop, because getting your freelance visa there has several awesome options!


1. DWC/Dubai South Free Zone: Budget-friendly and efficient, this free zone is perfect if you're starting your freelance journey. Check out for details.


2. GoFreelance by Dubai Development Authority: This powerhouse offers a wide range of activities across design, education, media, and technology. Think web design, writing, consulting – you name it! Head to to see if your field fits the bill.


Heads up, freelancer friend! Some companies offer "freelance permits" disguised as manpower supply licences. These might just give you a visa and labour card, but they lack the crucial government-approved permit for actual freelance work. So, be careful and choose your visa path wisely!

Freelance visa Abu Dhabi: exploring the options

So, the Dubai freelancing scene got you intrigued, but Abu Dhabi's calling your name? Not to worry, fellow freelancer! This vibrant emirate welcomes independent spirits with two distinct visa options:


1. Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development Freelance Permit:

  • Dive into 59 approved activities! Whether you're a design guru, a content king, or a marketing whiz, chances are you'll find your fit.

  • This option is open to all nationalities, so no need to worry about visa restrictions.

  • Curious about the cost? Head to for the latest fee breakdown.

  • Already employed in Abu Dhabi? No problem! Just grab a "No Objection Letter" from your current employer and you're good to go.


2. Twofour54:

  • Calling all creative minds! This media and entertainment hub is a haven for freelancers in film, music, and more.

  • Here's the twist: you'll need to partner with a Twofour54 company, who will then vouch for your projects with a "letter of intent".

  • Remember, freelancing through Twofour54 is limited to their zone and partner companies. Think of it as your exclusive creative playground!


Choosing your path:

Both options offer amazing opportunities, but the right fit depends on your field and preferences. Research each activity list, consider the costs, and see if you envision yourself thriving in a specific zone like Twofour54.

UAE freelance visa options: other emirates

Dreaming of freelance life in the UAE, but Dubai isn't the only game in town? The northern emirates hold exciting options for independent spirits! Buckle up, because we're diving into your visa possibilities:


Umm Al Quwain: Affordability meets simplicity in this free zone. Think low setup costs, reasonable fees, and a wide range of activities – perfect for solopreneurs seeking value. No degrees or approvals needed, just pure freelance freedom!


Ajman: Calling all budget-conscious hustlers! This zone boasts one of the cheapest freelance visas, with the bonus of sponsoring TWO resident visas on one license. Team up with a friend and split the costs – freelance life never looked sweeter (and more affordable)!


Sharjah: Media mavens, listen up! SHAMS offers a budget-friendly visa package designed just for you. Get your resident visa and enjoy the freelance-friendly environment within this vibrant media hub.


Ras Al Khaimah: Got your official documents ready? RAKEZ grants freelance visas based on your attested educational certificate. If you're already in Ras Al Khaimah, this could be your fast track to freelance bliss!


Fujairah: Creative City might not have specific "freelance visas," but their affordable packages make for compelling alternatives. Don't be fooled by their "Freelancer company" label – it's a regular commercial solution, not a true freelance permit.


Each option has its perks and requirements. Research activity lists, compare costs, and consider if a specific zone like SHAMS aligns with your creative niche.


Q: Are freelancers required to pay VAT?
A: Yes, if your turnover reaches 375,000 AED, you are required to add 5% VAT to all your invoices, register with the Federal Tax Authority, and pay VAT quarterly.


Q: Can I open a corporate bank account with my Freelance Permit?
A: Typically, a freelance permit only allows for a personal account. However, some freelance setups, like a licence in the Ajman Free Zone, resemble traditional commercial free zone licence, allowing for a business bank account instead of a personal one.


Q: How do I acquire a Freelance Visa in Dubai?
A: Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Identify the freelance job you can do

  • Apply for the freelance permit

  • Get the freelance permit issued

  • Obtain the establishment card

  • Apply for the entry visa

  • Change your status (if you're in the UAE as a tourist)

  • Undergo a Medical check

  • Apply for the Emirates ID

  • Get the visa stamped in your passport

  • Receive your Emirates ID


Q: Are freelancers required to pay corporate tax?
A: Freelancers are required to register for taxation and pay corporate tax only if their yearly account turnover exceeds one million dirhams. The corporate tax rate is 9%.


Q: What is the validity period of a Freelance Visa?
A: Freelance Visas in the UAE are valid for 2 years.


Q: Can I freelance without a visa in the UAE?
A: If you intend to live and work permanently in the UAE, a UAE residency visa, which can be opened under a freelance permit, is necessary.

Q: Can I conduct trade under a Dubai Freelance License?
A: Typically, freelancing involves providing professional services. For trading, it's advisable to obtain a trade license specifying the trading of products.


Q: Can I sponsor my family under a Freelance Visa?
A: Yes, upon having your visa stamped in your passport, you can sponsor your dependents. 

Remember, you'll need an attested tenancy contract and legalized marriage/birth certificates to apply for family visas.


Q: How can I work from home in Dubai?
A: Working from home in Dubai is feasible if your professional activities are internet-based. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Obtain a Freelance permit or License

  • Apply for your Freelance Visa (if don’t have an active UAE visa)

  • Open a bank account

  • Promote your services online and within community groups

  • Deliver your services via the internet

  • Utilize social media to market your products

  • Renew your freelance permit annually


Q: What is the cost of the cheapest Dubai Freelance Visa?
A: The total cost of a Freelance Visa in Dubai comprises the freelance permit cost and the actual visa fees. The most affordable freelance permit is available at 7,500 AED. The Freelance Visa under this permit includes 2,000 AED for the Establishment Card and 5,000 AED for the resident visa.

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