Freeing Up the Freelancers

The U.A.E. recently announced plans for a new flexible freelance work permit. Christie’s International Real Estate Dubai takes a look.

U.A.E. Human Resources Minister image

Abdul Rahman bin Abdulmanan Al Awar, U.A.E. Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Image courtesy Gulf News.

At a recent forum held in Dubai, the U.A.E.’s Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Abdul Rahman bin Abdulmanan Al Awar, announced a new flexible work permit for freelancing.

In a clear sign that this new measure is aimed at further boosting an already expanding workforce, the permit will not replace any of the recent work and visa reforms — these include 2022’s game-changing Golden Visa announcements, as well as a range of other residential, business and tourist visas — but rather augment them.

Currently, private sector employees are mandated to be in possession of a contract with a single employer, or with multiple employers depending on individual circumstances. The new permit, set to launch in Q3 2023, will allow freelancers of all skills to take up freelance jobs in the country, and also work remotely from anywhere in the world.

The move is already being lauded as progressive in the technology-influenced work landscape ushered in by the pandemic. Recognising and welcoming a range of different work styles is expected to act as a significant fillip to employee productivity.

The new permit is the latest in a trend of pro-technology and pro-business decisions that have seen the U.A.E. rebound well from the pandemic — the 2022 real estate market’s record, 90,881 transactions just one example.

Indeed, this is the hallmark of the country, to continuously strive to become a centre for new technologies and innovations. It is a trait that is predicted to positively benefit various industries. As the minister summarised, “Investing in digital infrastructure has allowed us to have better productivity.”