A new ‘Freelancer Licence’ has been announced by the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi which covers 48 types of business activities conducted in the emirate.
The licence will be available to residents, non-residents, and citizens of UAE. Applicants must prove relevant skillset to get the licence. UAE residents should also get prior approval if employed in public or private sector firms, if their chosen activity is similar to their regular job.
Applicants can also apply for residence visas, authorities added. Office space is also not mandatory.
This new licence is expected to help companies take advantage of the broad experience and expertise available in the market while being able to eliminate employment in specialisations that are required only periodically. The licence is also expected to boost income of groups including housewives, retirees and students. It will also allow more remote working opportunities.
Enhancing business sector
Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said that the resolution will contribute to enhancing the role of both citizens and non-citizens in boosting Abu Dhabi’s business sector. He noted that this will help stimulate the business and investment environments in the emirate and will create more job opportunities in certain fields that add value to the business sector.
Al Blooshi explained that ADDED’s decision to qualify non-citizens for freelancer licences will have a positive impact on the services sector in the emirate as the economic activities under this type of licences are mostly technical and service related. However, many residents in the UAE, especially those with adequate professional experience in Abu Dhabi’s labour market, have the technical skills to practice these activities.
Helping the unemployed
Al Blooshi added the issuance of freelancer licences will lead to various positive economic results such as harnessing the skills of unemployed people. In addition, it allows those with technical expertise to practice freelance activities after finishing their normal work hours. He also pointed out that the licence will help businesses by eliminating the need to employ labours in all specialisations that are only needed periodically, apart from allowing freelancers to provide their services remotely and round the clock. Furthermore, it will contribute to solving the unemployment problem and will increase the income of various segments such as retirees, housewives and students, among others.
When you need employer approval
The regulatory list of the new resolution specifies a number of work terms and general conditions that need to be met by the applicants. In case the applicant works for the public sector, he/she should obtain an approval from the government employer and meet the general requirements. If the applicant works with a permanent employment contract in the private sector, two cases are identified here. In the first case, if the employer’s activity is similar to or overlaps with the activity of the requested licence, the employer’s approval is a must, in addition to meeting the general requirements.
In the second case, if the employer’s activity is different from the activity of the licence to be issued, then the employer’s approval is not needed in this case, same thing applies if the applicant works in a part time contract in the private sector. the two parties’ agreement’s terms and condition will be applied in terms of work timings, leaves and other obligations.
Under the terms of the recently issued resolution, ADDED has identified 48 economic activities that can be practiced with a freelancer licence, including fashion design, clothing, natural and aesthetic flowers arrangement, photography studio, event photography, videography, event management, gift packaging, jewellery design, web design, project design and management services, translation, calligraphy, drawing, statistical consultations, agricultural guidance and marketing operations management.
The freelancer licence also covers consultation activities in areas of computer hardware and software, real estate, legal consultancy, public relations, standardisation and quality management, pest control, project development, procurement, technical installations, green buildings, information technology, economic feasibility studies, human resources, tourism, heritage, entertainment, administrative studies, food safety, goods designs, fine art, architectural drawings, and maritime services.
In addition, consultations related to lifestyle development, marketing studies, parliamentary studies, banking and marketing services in the fields of energy, space and logistical consultations, fitness, art works, sculpting, handicrafts, printing services, photocopying, gardening and landscaping, printing on textiles or clothes, plastering, engraving, decoration and soap-making can be practiced with the licence.
– With inputs from WAM