Freelance Permits

Freelance Permits

With Expo 2020 fast approaching, there is likely to be an influx of skilled professionals who will travel to Dubai specifically for work opportunities surrounding the event. As the show’s duration is for 6 months, it would not be practical for anyone interested in working opportunities presented by the show to go through the traditional channels of a full Free-Zone or Local Company visa as these usually last for 3 years. However, anyone living and earning money in the UAE needs to be licensed in order to receive payments, or enter into contracts with local businesses. Fortunately, there are now viable initiatives for anyone working in Education, IT, or Media-related sectors to obtain freelance permits allowing them to legally stay and work in the UAE. Free-zones that currently offer a freelance permit include Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Design District, Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 and Fujairah Creative City, RAKEZ, and Ajman Free-zone.

Standard process for obtaining a Freelance Permit

Step 1

Consultation with Alpha Management; we can discuss the best way to approach getting the permit and from what jurisdiction.

Step 2

After we have picked the correct activity(ies) for your particular skill-set, we will prepare and submit all the necessary compliance and application forms.

Step 3

Once we have approval from the Free-Zone, we can start the application for the visa if required.

Step 4

Once the visa is processed, you are legally allowed to stay and work in UAE!

Advantages of a Freelance Permit

  • 100% Personal Income Tax exemption
  • No physical office space requirement
  • Wide ranging activities
  • No requirement to lease office space
  • Fast applications and permit issuance
  • Permit fees start from just 7,500 AED
  • Visa will allow legal stay in UAE
  • Can sponsor family members
  • Access to Business Centres and Hubs
  • No audit requirements

Regulations and Features for Freelance Permits

The licence is available without requiring a permanent office space, which is a huge cost-saving for anyone who only wants to stay in the UAE temporarily. The latest freelance initiative (called “Go Freelance”) comes from Tecom Group in partnership with Dubai Creative Cluster Authority, and offers freelancers in the education and media sectors the freedom of the 'gig economy' through licences for a wide range of activities such as photography, choreography, commentating, event planning, journalism, music, PR specialists, translating, writing, software development, and many more. While there are five activities allowed in the education sector, the media category has nearly 50 activities. Even if you have a full time job in UAE, you can still apply for a freelance permit as long as you obtain an NOC from your current employer. The permit will be issued in your personal name, not a corporate entity.


If you are making between AED 187,500 per year and AED 375,000 per year then you may register for VAT if you choose. If you make more than AED 375,000 per year, you must register for VAT. Alpha Management can manage this process, as well as provide accounting services if required.

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