We just held our first Freelance Summit in Dubai and were thrilled to engage with a full house at Shelter. The reasoning behind this gathering was fairly simple. We know from our data that there is a big demand for different ways of working, our 14,000 registered users and over 250 job postings a month are testament to that, but we know there’s a big untapped market out there that can be addressed by starting an offline dialogue between the various stakeholders.
That’s why we built an agenda bringing together freelancers to talk about their insights and advice, employers to talk about what they look for and common pitfalls to avoid, a law firm to tell us exactly what is legal regarding freelance and part time work and a business setup consultancy that told us how to incorporate freelancing activities into a proper registered business. We even had a session talking about how freelancing can help achieve the UAE’s 2021 vision of a knowledge based economy!
The event was really successful, and there was definitely an appetite to hear more. Nabbesh is hard at work building some great product features on the platform to make the experience even easier, but we also want to help people get the information they need. We’ll be doing more events in the future based on the conversations we started last night, and of course your feedback.
Let’s give you some highlights from the night:
We talked about the enhanced profile builder called Canvas which allows people to demonstrate their skills by linking to all their best work around the web. Have a look at the profile below to see how much more engaging they are.
If you’ve already got a profile on Nabbesh, now is the time to use this tool to stand out from the crowd.
We also had some sneak peeks of upcoming product features. Want to be the first to test them out? Get on our mailing list!
The question on everybody’s mind was, is freelancing really legal? How can I do it properly? Sara Khoja, Partner at Clyde & Co gave a helpful and succinct talk on what is now possible. Some key takeaways:
- You can hold a full time job and do work on the side with a “part time work permit” so long as you hold the necessary No Objection Certificates from your existing employer
- Expats are able to act as official work sponsors for their dependents meaning that housewives and students can now take up part time work (with permissions from husbands / fathers)
There was a general consensus that freelancing was a good way to transition from being employed full time to becoming your own boss. Thanks to the laws in the UAE allowing part time work, we should see more people take up freelancing in their spare time to build up their reputation in the market.
Another surprising piece of news from Creative Zone was that it is possible to incorporate your freelance activities into a proper business in the UAE, allowing you to have a corporate bank account and the ability to invoice in a company name as opposed to your personal name. Offering various license options, Creative Zone are happy to provide you with a free consultation to help you understand these options and advise on the best possible solution as per your requirements. If you want more on this, ping us in the form below with your Nabbesh profile URL and the subject “Freelance Business Licence”
Many people think that freelancing as a work pattern is nothing but a pipe dream, available for only a few people, or those lucky enough to have a skill which is so rare that they can command extremely high prices for it. Fortunately we had freelancers on the panel to dispel this myth. A few tips from them:
- It’s a competitive marketplace, you need to be proactive and show why you’re better than others
- Talk to peers and network with others in the industry to ascertain benchmark rates
- Start small and build your reputation through delivering quality work
The employer panel was equally fascinating as we heard exactly what it is that employers look for and we got a glimpse into the skills that are highly in demand right now:
- Have a sense of accountability, prove that you take the job as seriously as a full time employee
- Demonstrating your work with an up to date portfolio means you have a better chance of standing out (top tip: use the Canvas profile builder to get employers to notice you quicker!)
- Deliver good consistent work and aim to build reputation with your employer no matter what the project is
Some industry insights as to what’s missing in the market:
- Arabic Content Development
- English writers who follow Arabic culture
- Good Arabic screenplay writers, producers and directors
So you heard it here first! If you’re reading this and you’ve got these skills, or you know someone who does, get signed up on Nabbesh.com as soon as possible.
We’d like to thank The Shelter, Clyde & Co, Creative Zone and all our panelists for making the event a success.
We’ll continue doing these sessions to make sure everyone is empowered with the knowledge they need to freelance successfully. All you have to do is bring your skills to the platform. Whether you’re an individual or a business, hit us up in the form below to tell us more about what you want to know.
www.nabbesh.com – where talent meets opportunity.