As the UAE becomes a global hub for remote work, Aaron Portero, Managing Director of Connect Group, shares his views on how freelance visas bring a wealth of benefits for both workers and local organizations.
Over the past few years, the way we work has undergone a massive transformation – in many ways, for the better. In the wake of the global pandemic, employees are increasingly seeking greater flexibility in their work arrangements, whether that’s the opportunity for hybrid work (spending some time in the office, and working remotely for the remainder), or making the shift to 100 percent remote work, either as an employee or freelancer.
The UAE has been at the forefront of this new way of working, launching new freelance visas that make it easier than ever to live and work in the country. Once restricted to certain industries and roles, freelance visas have expanded in recent years to welcome an array of careers and activities, from personal training to engineering, and everything in between.
By positioning itself as a global hub for remote and freelance work, the UAE is attracting the world’s brightest talent, lured by the lifestyle, safety, and economic benefits of one of the world’s most liveable cities.
Key benefits of obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai
- Working in a highly diversified economy, with unrivaled opportunities for growth
- An entrepreneurial environment that supports start-ups
- A gateway to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia
- A cosmopolitan lifestyle with world-class infrastructure that is second to none
- Financial benefits, including no personal or capital gains tax
Speaking at Dubai’s Remote Forum in March, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, AI, and Remote Working System, said that the UAE’s technological advantages have provided robust infrastructure to enable and support workers in the digital era.
Al Olama said, “Remote work is now a main way of work and not an option… and we in the UAE must move from using the methods of remote work as a trend to using them as a quality and competitive advantage that improves the quality of life of residents and visitors to the UAE.”
Read: Key legal aspects for hybrid or remote work mechanisms
Citing figures from UK research company YouGov, Al Olama said that almost half, or about 46 percent, of workers in the UAE work remotely.
Indeed, the way people work is changing at a rapid-fire pace. Bayt.com’s 2023 Freelancing in the MENA survey found that 89 percent of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa plan to do more freelance work this year, as they seek better work-life balance, pursue their passions, and supplement their existing income.
The way local businesses engage talent is also evolving, with Bayt.com’s 2022 survey finding that 70 percent of employers planned to hire freelancers over the past year.
Benefits of hiring freelancers
- offer flexibility to scale up and down as required
- often better at delivering within tight deadlines
- can be good for contingency planning between hires or supplementing small teams
- more cost-effective than having full-time staff
Not all freelance visas in the UAE are created equal, however. When choosing a freelance visa in the UAE, it is important that you select one that will support your personal journey. Connect Resources offers a comprehensive freelance visa package that includes your work permit, Emirates ID, residency visa, and office space. It also includes unlimited NOCs and salary certificates, support in sponsoring your family in Dubai, freelance employment solutions to aid your entry into the job market, and ongoing professional support including free invoicing support and general assistance.
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