Freelancers can now work easier in the UAE thanks to a new freelancer license announced by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) earlier this week. The license, devised to stimulate economic growth in the emirate, will cover 48 industries and will be offered to residents, non-residents and citizens. Previously, this license was available exclusively to UAE nationals.
To qualify, the applicant must show competence in their field of choice and if currently employed in the public or private sector, must get prior approval from their employers if their activities conflict or overlap with their jobs.
This license will encourage businesses to tap into the growing local and international freelance market, which will in turn reduce the high cost of hiring permanent employees for seasonal jobs. Issuance of these licenses is also set to increase the flexibility of work by allowing freelancers to operate remotely and around the clock depending on their contracts. Additionally, it will open more opportunities for stay-at-home parents, students, and retirees, who are often overlooked in the conventional job market. Not only that, this move will also enable those who are already employed to gain additional revenue streams from their after-work gigs.
According to the Undersecretary of ADDED Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, the license will increase the contribution of both citizens and foreigners to Abu Dhabi’s business sector, as well as create an enabling environment for new investments in fields that will add value to the economy. The inclusion of non-citizens, according to Al Blooshi, will harness the technical know-how from other countries to fill the gap in skills that may be present in the emirate.
Some of the skills included in the freelance license include translation, photography, web design, project design and management, fine arts, entertainment, IT, procurement, public relations, human resources, and fashion design. The holders of these licenses will now find it easier to navigate digital marketplaces like Ureed.com that are teeming with opportunities for gigsters. The majority of the 48 fields included in the license are part of Ureed.com‘s extensive repertoire of projects, which means the license holders will enjoy fast-tracked success on the platform.
The UAE has had one of the most stellar responses to the Coronavirus, using it as an inflection point in the growth of its digital economy and freelance market. Apart from this new licensing program, there have been a myriad of other initiatives set up by the government to capitalize on the growing digital landscape, some of which include offering work visas to foreigners and setting up a government agency dedicated to digital and technological expansion.