CHECKLIST FOR HIRING BEST SEO FREELANCERS IN DUBAI

If you are an entrepreneur in Dubai and are searching for a freelance SEO specialist, you should know that although there are plenty of them in the job market, however not all of them will make your investment worth it. Hence, while choosing an SEO specialist it is important to choose with careful deliberation rather than blindfolding yourself and hiring one randomly.
Here are a few key features that you must tick off your checklist while finding the perfect SEO freelancer:

Continue reading → CHECKLIST FOR HIRING BEST SEO FREELANCERS IN DUBAI

Empowering youth – the freelance way

There are multiple ways going freelance can empower young people. Whether you are looking to fill up your free time with a couple of challenging tasks or break the routine that has been dictating your life, a challenging freelance project can make for an exciting experience whose lessons could stay with you forever.

The financial benefit

I don’t blame you if when you say, see, hear or read the word “job”, the first thing you think of is “how much?” We all work to make money—at least the vast majority of people. The flexible nature of student freeancerfreelance work and the fact that most projects are short-term could lead to a freelancer being paid higher rates than those a full-timer would be receiving for doing the same exact job. Looking for freelance work might be your best option if you’re a university student looking to make some pocket money while still having some extra time to do homework, read, or go out with friends. While some worry that freelance might not be a stable prospect in the long run, a bigger number of clients—and more projects—can ensure an almost-stable flow of income. Perhaps one of the best advantages of being a freelancer is the fact that you usually don’t have too many expenses — make sure to inform the client beforehand if you need to go to the field, travel, or buy material, and make sure to make sure they will cover the expenses. Starting to make money at a young age leads to financial independence, and the latter not only liberates you, but also empowers you.

Developing skills before you hit the marketplace

Although you might choose to go exclusively freelance and never have to spend time in an office ever again, you might also decide to accept a full-time job offer at a certain point. Regardless of the professional direction you deem fit, it is crucial that you start working on acquiring and developing basic skills so that when you hit the marketplace, you do so running. Freelance work can complement your studies in a way that classes and professors can only talk about—theoretically, for the most part. Marketing yourself as the right person for the job, agreeing with clients on the terms and conditions of a task, delivering, reviewing and finding quick, effective solutions to overcome daily obstacles are all activities you would have to do on an almost-daily basis while freelancing your way through the pre-career phase of your life. More know-how and a set of social skills is bound to empower you, maybe not overnight, but most definitely somewhere down the line.

Staying ahead of the curve

Competition is fierce out there. It’s a cut-throat job hunt that could leave many scarred for life, especially if you’re one of those people who get their hopes a bit too high a bit too fast. Although you will most probably be scanning the market for entry-level positions upon graduating from university (or high school if you’re too eager), all employers will ask you to submit both a CV and a cover letter, and they usually expect neither to be blank. Being a freelancer is in many ways similar to doing an internship at home. Only difference is: you would actually be doing work! By the time you decide to apply for more senior, higher-paying positions, you would have managed to learn and achieve more than your peers of the same age.

 

Walk the freelancer walk? Nabbesh freelancers talk…

Ever wished you could get into the same elevator with a successful freelancer who has been on the job for  some time and actually survived to tell the tale? Ask them some questions about their experience and possibly receive some advice? Well, Nabbesh just made the chase much easier. We  sat down with three top freelancers* working in the Middle East. Enjoy their ‘ real life’ testimonials!

H.A., Magazine freelancer, based in Beirut, servicing clients in Lebanon and the broader Middle East (15 years)

I’ve been freelancing for about 15 years starting off by mixing it with full or part-timework but eventually going entirely freelance about eight years ago. The best thing is you get to dictate your schedule to a certain extent – take a coffee break, nap, go out, take a day off – these are all decisions you control, and even aspects such as if you want to work entirely in your pajamas from the comfort of your sofa. Yet while freelancing gives you flexibility, you may end up working more than if you were full-time — particularly if you work with clients who think nothing of dumping urgent jobs on you on a Friday evening. This makes it important to maintain a balance between being available and committed to your clients while ensuring you still have a personal life left.

…One of the big lessons to learn is when to say no. In the beginning you might feel like it’s
good to say yes to everything. You will reach a point, though, when you realize the great feeling that comes with saying no. Maybe the trickiest topic for any freelancer is how to gauge how much money to charge – and make sure that you get paid. Be smart in thinking how to secure compensation for your time. Always make sure the client gives you a firm and detailed brief. You will meet a lot of people who want something but don’t know how to express what they want and who are happy to send you off on a wild goose chase to find out, only to tell you when you have done all the work what exactly they had in mind was something altogether different. Your time is not free or limitless. Don’t accept a revised brief without explaining it will cost more.

Starting out on the right foot is the best way to minimize your time involvement and end up with a happy client – which as a freelancer is exactly what you should be aiming at.

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Ramy K., graphic design and digital media freelancer, based in Jordan, servicing clients all over the Middle East and Australia (6 years)

In 2009, I was a graduate student studying in London when I first started helping some of my friends who still hadn’t graduated from university in Jordan. They would ask me to check a digital render, an illustration, weigh in on the choice of font or color, among others. I used to do it free of charge at first. A couple of months later one of my classmates noticed that I always had extra work. She looked at me and said, “You know, it would be great if those people you’re helping could at least buy you the coffee you order every time you come to the coffee shop to look over their projects.”

…It was hard for me to talk to people I knew—my friends—about it. I was surprised that almost all of them welcomed the idea and didn’t mind paying a fee for my services. They even started referring me to professionals in the field such as agency owners. I started a full-time job in 2012. Five months later, I had quit, purchased a new computer and a beautiful, wide desk and transitioned to freelance. I now work not only on small projects but also on large-scale campaigns and commit to long-term contracts.

I would say managing my time, prioritizing tasks, and knowing how to approach a client about suggestions and concerns have been the most challenging skills to acquire and develop, but I’m getting there.

Mehr Farahani, Magazine and technical reports writer, based in Beirut, servicing clients in Saudi Arabia/broader GCC and Europe (3 years)

I am fairly new to the freelance game—I started while based in Beirut in May 2012 after having lived in the West all my life, and I have been doing it full-time up until the present. If it’s done right it can be the best possible way to live: you get to schedule your own time, you can pick and choose what to take on, and you usually end up doing a wide range of work.

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As a freelance writer, I feel like it is very similar to being in grad school — at least in terms of tempo and levels of stress. Despite my best efforts, I find I have to pull a few all-nighters a month just to get through my work. Most other freelancers I speak with have the same problem.

The most challenging thing about not working a 9-5 is being disciplined enough to stick to your deadlines. This requires a great deal of self-motivation and time management skills since you don’t have a boss over your shoulder policing you. If you can do that then working for yourself is the best possible way to live your life. Just remember: with freedom comes responsibility!

 

 

*The real names of the subjects have been replaced with pseudonyms.

Three Keys to Unlocking a Successful Freelance Career

Nabbesh Presents a Full Solution to the Challenges of Online Work

Nabbesh is proud to announce the launch of our online rating system, which is one more step in presenting a full solution to the challenges of online work.  As an online marketplace for freelancers our goal at Nabbesh is to present you with all the tools for you to lead a successful freelancing life!

Nabbesh offers you 3 key benefits to ensure that your freelance career is successful:

  1. Access to a vast network encompassing the entire MENA region
  2. A secure online payment service that makes online work safe & rewarding
  3. Ratings & feedback on your work designed to increase your future opportunities

We launched our new rating system because we want our very best freelancers and clients to shine!

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Why are ratings important?

  • Positive ratings can increase your chances of getting hired!
  • Studies show that by building a positive rating online, freelancers can increase their income by 20% in the first year as they capitalize on repeat business and enjoy charging more competitive rates.
  • Positive ratings mean, freelancers can be awarded projects quicker than their peers as it provides the client with quality assurance.
  • As Nabbesh grows, positive ratings will provide freelancers an opportunity to compete on projects on a global level, gain new skills, earn more income and increase their exposure to employers.
  • Positive ratings give the freelancers added visibility on Nabbesh as clients will be able to sort search results by ratings.

Once you complete a project through Nabbesh, you will be able to write a review of the client (and they will also be able to write a review of you).

freelancer-rating-client Once you’ve completed projects on Nabbesh, here’s how your ratings and feedback will enhance your profile and be displayed:

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How can I receive positive ratings on Nabbesh?

  • Start by completing your profile on Nabbesh. A 100% profile completion will give you added visibility in search results as well as when Nabbesh matches your profile to a project posted on Nabbesh.
  • Check all the projects listed on Nabbesh and apply to the ones where you can deliver high-quality work. It is important that you make a good impression with your first project to secure a positive rating.
  • Follow the Nabbesh application process by sending the client a proposal for the work, including your portfolio, and eventually an invoice once you have delivered the project according to the terms of the agreement.
  • Finally make sure you maintain very good customer service throughout your project so you can ask the client to give you a positive rating.

 

New technology changes the working day, offering a strategy for more jobs in the Middle East

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This blog post originally appeared in the World Bank’s Voices & Views: Middle East & North Africa on 3/28/14.  The original post can be seen here: http://blogs.worldbank.org/arabvoices/new-technology-changes-the-working-day-mena

It’s no secret that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the entire world: nearly 30% according to the International Labour Organization. Over one in four young people have no viable means for economic prosperity, and sadly education is no guarantor of a job. Despite these bleak statistics, a recent survey commissioned by Qatar’s telecom giant, Orredoo, suggests that young people still have hope of a great future, fueled in large part by the innovations of the 21st century. The challenge is to innovate technology and alter our way of thinking about work to motivate MENA’s youth.

Technology Enabling Prosperity

This is a pivotal moment, one of tremendous historical and technological change, as well as overwhelming challenges for the region. The hope technology brings, however, is a potential game changer, both economically and for regional stability overall. The World Bank recently published a study highlighting the economic opportunities of accelerating high-speed internet access. The authors of this study note this region would look significantly different if more women and young people had access to high-speed internet. For while technology is only a means to a better life, and not an end in itself, using it effectively to further economic prosperity and job creation is critical.

What MENA’s Youth Want

A new report, “New Horizons: Young, Arab and Connected,” commissioned by Ooredoo, surveyed more than 10,500 young adults in 17 countries across the region, and found that 9 out of 10 young MENA citizens believed that Internet access could help them fulfill their hopes for a job. This study also found that for young people lucky enough to have jobs, 45% of them are not doing what they would like to do. While it might be easy to dismiss this, when considering the unemployment statistics, motivating youth effectively to contribute to the economic good of the region is important in gaining the most out of this region’s best assets: its young people full of hope and promise.

Redesigning Work: Beyond the Traditional 9-5

Perhaps it’s time this region takes a hard look at the way we work and redesign a path moving forward that takes into account both the emerging technologies and the way this current generation–which accounts for approximately one third of MENA’s population of about 340 million–views the world. A report by Aruba Networks on “Gen Mobile” found that half of the survey’s participants of youth aged between 18 and 35, work most efficiently outside of the traditional 9am-5pm working hours, and also want more flexible work. Harvard Business Review’s blog also discusses this emerging trend: the 20th century work schedule was not the first work schedule, nor will it be the last.

An Emerging Trend: Independent Work

Throughout the world, working independently and the concept of freelance work has become much more popular: it is estimated that within the next six years 40% of Americans will work independently. Deloitte recently conducted a survey of Millennials, a term used to refer to people born from the early 1980s to around the 2000s, which found that 70% of Millennials want to work independently. A new way of work that taps into the technology this generation has grown up with, and gives a sense of autonomy, which behavioral economists deem important, could give this generation in the MENA region a better sense of self-determination and overall wellbeing. Although there is currently an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of independent work, research suggest that when people are given autonomy, health and wellbeing improve.1

Although the idea of independent work is still a relatively new concept for the modern Middle East, a peer-to-peer economy is as old as the Silk Road: merchants directly exchanging goods and services. Today’s roads are now virtual, driven in large part by the Internet. In a world where technology continues to change almost every aspect of our lives, it is now contributing towards a more hopeful future for this region’s youth.  The challenge is to re-imagine and rewire ourselves for 21st century work not based upon an outdated construct from a past era, but rather one that taps into what some economists recognize as basic human motivation.

1 Valery Chirkov, Richard M. Ryan, Youngmee Kim, and Ulas Kaplan, “Differentiating Autonomy from Individualism and Independence: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Internalization of Cultural Orientations and Well-Being,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 ( January 2003); Joe Devine, Laura Camfield, and Ian Gough, “Autonomy or Dependence—or Both?: Perspectives from Bangladesh,” Journal of Happiness Studies 9, no. 1 ( January 2008). 

8 Ways to Improve your Working Life through Online Work!

At Nabbesh we believe that talented people, no matter where they are located, should be able to choose the type of career they would like to have. While the majority of people may think that the only option is to join a company on a full time basis, we’re thrilled to offer another career option, one which gives you more control over your life and provides a wide range of benefits!

Meet “Online Work” where skilled individuals whether they define themselves as freelancer, contractor, self employed, entrepreneur, student or even employed and looking for extra income, can offer their services through an online platform such as Nabbesh, bid for projects or tasks listed by companies or individuals on the platform, deliver the work required either virtually or in person and get paid for the services provided through the platform. Now whether you’re in Dubai, Jeddah, Amman, Beirut or Cairo, you will be able to choose whether or not you want to benefit from online work!

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Are you willing to try online work? Let Nabbesh bring the work to you! Sign up for free  at http://www.Nabbesh.com and start today!

Announcing the Launch of Nabbesh’s Payment Services

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A message from Nabbesh Founders to all our Friends & Owls.

Nabbesh is very proud to announce the launch of our new payment services, bringing us one step closer to providing our community of nearly 30,000 freelancers all the tools you need to work your way — and get paid!  At Nabbesh, our vision is to be the preeminent platform for every independent worker and freelancer in the MENA region, providing you with a simple, easy to use, one-stop platform, to bring you more work opportunities and financial prosperity.

Our Vision: To connect every freelancer in the MENA region with a job!

When we started Nabbesh, we began with only a vision and the determination to make that vision a reality by improving the way MENA’s men, women, and youth work.  Our goal is to create a virtual marketplace for people looking to break out of the confines of outdated work models.  Technology has already revolutionized the ways we connect with friends, search for music, and now the way we search for, find, and get paid for project-based work!

One of our community members, Tariq Mehmood, was able to showcase his work to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, all because of Nabbesh.  Nabbesh is truly a marketplace that provides unlimited exposure and merit based opportunities for our community, no matter where they live.

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Nabbesh also prides itself on listening and quickly adapting to the needs of our highly-skilled community.  In a recent study, Nabbesh found that 30% of our freelancers have had a client who never paid them!  For us, that number was too high, and we personally know the negative impact that not getting paid can have on your daily lives.  So we worked hard to provide a solution to this problem!

 Getting Paid Just Got Easier

We know that there are risks associated with working for someone across borders, or online, and we also know that not everyone can commute to an office or work in more traditional ways.  But we see the potential in you, and we have harnessed technology to make getting paid securely online simple. Our new payment system now allows you to send a work proposal, a deposit request or an invoice, while providing an escrow service, giving you more peace of mind.

What does this mean exactly?  It means that people like Ameera in Jordan can work for people like Sami in Dubai, negotiate a work proposal on Nabbesh, and Ameera can actually see the deposit that Sami makes online through Nabbesh before she even begins her work.  And with our credit card payment options and our options to receive payments through bank transfer, we have improved the way you hire, pay, and receive money for your work.  No bank account?  No problem!  Nabbesh also offers simple payments through money transfer services (i.e., Western Union).  We are taking the headache out of freelancing in this region.

Benefits of Nabbesh’s New Services:

-No need for paperwork. Send proposals, deposit requests & invoices via Nabbesh

-Transparency & convenience through secure online payments

-Freelancers can receive payments via bank or money transfer services (i.e., Western Union)

-Track project history, agreements, milestone changes, all in one place on Nabbesh

-A two way rating system which helps you build a reputation and improve your visibility

We hope you like the new and improved Nabbesh!  Work your way and try it today!

Loulou Khazen Baz & Rima Al Sheikh

FINALLY!!! Everything you ever wanted to know about the “rules” of freelancing in the UAE….

At Nabbesh we’ve been hearing many questions lately from our community members regarding the “rules” of setting-up as a freelancer in the UAE, and we have been listening to you!

Many of our community members in the UAE are expats who want to earn extra cash, but at the same time, want to make certain they are doing it legally!  Our Nabbesh community of nearly 30,000 come from many different backgrounds in the freelancing world, and although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone, we compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions to give you insights into the UAE’s rules on freelancing.

Frequently Asked Questions on Freelancing in the UAE

1. May I legally freelance in the UAE?   

Yes, you may freelance in the UAE!  However, it is important to distinguish between part-time work and freelancing.  Freelancing is working for yourself, where you are essentially a company made up of one person, which is perfectly legal as long as you are licensed to do so.

2. So, I need a license?

Yes you do!  You will need to secure a Trade License pertaining to your business activity from your selected Licensing Authority, and adhere to their stipulations.

3. What kind of license do I need?

The kind of license you need depends on the nature of the business you are looking to conduct.

There are two main ways of setting-up a business in Dubai and different license options for both, which a business setup specialist can explain in detail. The first is through the Dubai Department of Economic Development and the second is through one of the many Free Zones (e.g., Fujairah). 

a. Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) Business Setup

The main license types in the DED are:

1. Commercial (51% Emirati owned; 49% foreign owned), and; 

 2. Services/Professional/Consultancy (100% expat owned with a local Emirati service agent).  

b. Free Zone (FZ) Business Setup

For the free zones, both of the above license options apply, but the main differences are 1., an Emirati partner is not required, and 2., FZ businesses are 100% expat owned.

4. What are other benefits of setting-up through a Free Zone?

The general benefits of setting-up through a FZ are that companies can remain 100% foreign-owned and benefit from being “tax free” for 50 years, according to Article 15 of Law No. 1 of 2000 of the Emirate of Dubai.

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5. If I’m not a resident, may I obtain a residency visa through one of these license options? 

Yes, you may!

6. May I freelance if I’m on my husband’s visa?

Yes, you may!  You would first need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your husband as well as a labor card issued from the licensing authority/immigration office of the Emirate where the freelance company has been registered.

7. I’m working full-time but I’m interested in turning my hobby into a business.  May I obtain a license even if I’m sponsored by my employer?

Yes, you may!  Most (not all) licensing authorities would request you to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer in order for you to start your own freelancer company.

8. How long will it take to get a freelance license and setup my business?

On average the process can take anywhere from one week to ten days. 

9. Do I need to rent office space?

The majority of licensing authorities do require you to have some sort of office space within their jurisdiction, be it something minimal like a flexi-desk or a smart office, which is often already built into the price of the company setup package offered. These packages are typically catered to fit the needs of freelancers like yourselves. 

Some licensing authorities are even able to provide you with a Trade License without taking office space of any sort, however under this option you wouldn’t be able to secure any residency visas on the company, so this option is best suited to a freelancer who already has a residency visa be it through their spouse, parent or current employer.

10. Do I have to get a freelance license through a business setup specialist or can I do it myself?

You certainly can do it yourself, however most of our community members have testified that using a business setup specialist was a wiser, more sensible and efficient option, as setting up a company in the UAE can be a very time consuming and draining process.  

There are so many facets to consider when setting up a new business in the UAE, like obtaining your trade license, applying for your visa, getting business cards printed and setting up your bank account. The business setup specialist takes care of all the admin, allowing you to focus your attention on developing and growing your business.

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

Disclaimer: The information contained within this blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.  The information contained here may not necessarily relay the most up-to-date regulations by the government of the UAE.  Nabbesh always recommends you check with your local authorities to make certain you are compliant with current regulations.

Update:

11 – Where Can I find freelance work?

Click here to browse freelance work opportunities on Nabbesh.