Yes you can! There are a few ways.

For companies registered in some Free Zones for example they can hire a freelancer for as long as they need using a “non sponsored employee ID card” which costs 720 AED (TECOM), 800 AED (Dubai Silicon Oasis) and 860 AED (Trakhees Zone)

This is suitable when the freelancer is already on their relative or spouse’s visa.  The paperwork required is fairly straightforward, and involves the usual application forms, the company’s trade licence and passport copy of the sponsor showing residence visa along with a No Objection Letter from the sponsor.

What if you don’t have a spouse or relative to sponsor your visa?

Dubai Media City  is an example of a zone which offers a Freelance Permit which identifies an individual as a sole practitioner and enables him/her to carry out business in his/her own birth name as opposed to a company or brand name.  However, because you cannot open a company account at a bank without a registered company licence, it can be quite tricky to invoice as an individual freelancer.

More useful is the freelance license offered through Fujairah Free Zone.  With this type of licence you can choose a company name, can have one or more shareholders on the license, appoint someone as person in charge, the license has up to 3 visa allocations (available at an additional cost) and most importantly, you can upgrade this license to a ‘Baby Business’ license if you need to expand your business in the future.

The Ajman Free Zone Professional Licence comes with a 2 visa allocation without the need to take an office in the free zone (unless you have more than 2 employees).  For a faster processing of licence and visa, and for freelancers who trade in goods, a licence from Ajman is what you need

Starting at AED 17, 500 with the option of monthly payments, you can be running your own business in no time!

To learn more about special licensing options and discounts available to Nabbesh users through our partners, e-mail us at


  1. Really, technically, the answer to that question is: yes, BUT, it’s a lengthy process that will cost you. “can have one or more shareholders on the license, appoint someone as person in charge,”… This sounds like a nightmare. And “as little as” 14,000??


  2. Freelancing in the UAE is a joke. One should just be able to put their name on a piece of paper, and that’s it. There really isn’t any need for ‘registration’ or permits.

    Oh, but it’s the visa and sponsor issue. Because there is no such thing as a free labor market here. Oh well.


  3. The answer is no! Its a joke u better off freelancing in Europe or else where. Its just a big money making scheme in Dubai freezones as far as I can analyse limiting people in other ways or noy being financially feasible. Inventing packages they tell you you need which average in 20 000dirham for an office space that is basically a cubicle that you will not use If lets say your a photographer or designer or teacher. And all these extra costs and headache you don’t actually need as a freelancer if your using the companies facilities on ur contract. SAVE YOUR MONEY and look alsewhere unless you desperate to be in the U.A.E. its completely unrealistic for freelance and if you move around a lot. If however you were blessed to have the right kinda passport I.e U.K and U.S.A then just do a border run and save yourself the hassle and business proposal. Business proposal for freelancers?? Yes you need one when you apply to freelance! What a joke!


  4. well if your on a non sponserd visa in a freezone visa yes you can freelance but the other solutions like in media city or ajman is just wasting money for no service lets say a client doesn’t want to pay there is no way to protect yourself against these kind of situations even with that license and trying to open court case here is just wasting time based on my experience basically you have to create a system yourself i have wrote an article about how freelance web designers can protect themselves in dubai here
    but there should be a legal system in place for it not just charging people for a useless paper.


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  6. Its handy to do freelance in UAE!!
    if you ask me, its very easy, reliable, and cost effective to have a freelanced work in uae, its not money throwing, also you dont actually have to get complete license for a freelancer, usually you can ask people to work for you in part time, and get your stuff done easily.. parttimers are much effective if you get a good one..


  7. I have a freezone visa from my company and I work full time there . Im planning on freelancing in my spare time .
    What are the consequences of freelancing without the license ?


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