How can you apply for a freelancer license in Abu Dhabi?

Working as a freelancer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was a dream for foreigners. They were not able to obtain a work permit unless a company sponsored them.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) recently announced that UAE nationals, residents, and non-residents can now apply for a freelancer license in Abu Dhabi.

What is the procedure to get a freelancer license, and what can it offer?


  • Requirements 


If you are interested in applying for the freelancer license, you should show that you are an expert in the field you seek to be licensed for. If you do not submit a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a certificate of experience, you won’t be eligible for the freelancer license.

The ADDED identified 48 activities that can be conducted under the freelancer license, and they range from fashion design to web development, pest control, translation, jewelry design, marketing, and consulting. 

You can apply for the permit by creating an account with the Abu Dhabi Business Center and providing your personal information such as your full name, email address, mobile number, and passport number. The ADDED also ask for specific documents, which include:

  • A university degree or any other document showing that you are an expert in the activity you opt to get licensed in; and
  • In case you are a resident, a No Objection Certificate or NOC if you work in the government or the private sector under a permanent contract or as a part-timer.

What is special about this license is that you are not required to have an office. You can be working from home and earning money.

This gives a huge advantage to people, and especially parents.


  • Advantages 


By allowing foreigners to apply for a freelancer license, Abu Dhabi aims to create more job opportunities and enhance and diversify the UAE’s business sector.

With the freelancer permit, a person will be able to apply for a residency visa and have the option to sponsor their family under the family visa after their license is approved. The family visa will be valid for up to two years, which is the license’s validity term.  

The cost of the freelancer license is very affordable and amounts to 530 AED.

This freelancer license brings a lot of advantages for foreigners. It will enable them to work and reside in the UAE without obtaining a work permit or being sponsored by a company.


With the growing popularity of the gig economy and the ongoing pandemic forcing people to work remotely, many initiatives were launched to make it easier and more affordable for freelancers to work in the UAE. Abu Dhabi’s move follows Dubai, which launched a new visa for remote workers.  

Stay tuned to learn more about the new Dubai freelancer license in our next article!