Abu Dhabi expands its freelance professional licence programme to attract talent

The initiative allows individuals to conduct commercial activities from anywhere in the world

The addition of activities will enhance the services sector in Abu Dhabi, according to Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. Khushnum Bhandari/ The National
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The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development expanded its freelance professional licence programme, adding 11 more commercial activities to the list as it seeks to boost the emirate's business environment and create more technical jobs to attract and retain talent.

The emirate's freelance professional licence initiative allows individuals, including citizens, residents and non-residents, to conduct commercial activities from anywhere in the world.

The new activities are related to accounting and auditing; analysing and reviewing accounting and auditing systems; Sharia review consultancy for the transactions of Islamic financial institutions; consultations in the fields of tax, electronic networks, electronic security, innovation and artificial intelligence; information technology network services; design and programming of electronic chips; and the design of database systems and electronic risk management services.

The new activities will enhance the services sector in Abu Dhabi and will positively impact the emirate's economy as it will allow individuals to work remotely and earn extra income, Rashed Al Blooshi, undersecretary of the Added, said.

Abu Dhabi's affordable freelance professional licence, first announced in November last year, allows professionals to legally establish businesses and work on flexible terms. It also allows people to pursue self-employment activities without needing a licence from a free zone.

Authorities said the licences will make the job market flexible, help the private sector by keeping costs low and reduce the cost of doing business.

In September, the Added included computer systems and software designing in the freelance licence category in an attempt to boost the emirate's technology infrastructure and in line with the UAE government’s initiative to grant 100,000 golden visas to entrepreneurs and start-ups in the coding sector.

Added has issued 1,784 of freelance professional licences since the September announcement, Mr Al Blooshi said.

To obtain a freelance licence, an applicant must have a minimum of three years of experience in the specific field or industry or has earned an academic or professional achievement in that field. The licence also grants a residence visa for the holder and his or her family.

Among the most popular self-employed freelance jobs in the UAE are personal trainers, nannies, tutors, journalists, interior designers, life coaches, public relations professionals, sports instructors, make-up and hair stylists and web designers.

Updated: November 15, 2021, 11:08 AM