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Freelance Visa in Dubai

Freelance Visa Dubai Cost 2024

Imagine ditching the office lights and commuting for the sparkling waters and buzzing energy of Dubai! As a freelancer, the world is your oyster, and Dubai beckons with no taxes and tons of other freelancers. But before you book your flight, let’s talk about the cost of a freelance visa (don’t worry, it’s not scary!).

Understand the Freelance Visa in Dubai

Before delving into the cost of a freelance visa in Dubai, it is important to have a clear understanding of what it entails. A freelance visa, also known as a freelance permit, is a type of visa that allows independent professionals to work and reside in Dubai legally. This visa is specifically designed for individuals who want to offer their services on a freelance basis, without being employed by a specific company. It provides freelancers with the flexibility to work on multiple projects and collaborate with different clients, while enjoying the benefits of living and working in Dubai. To know more about the cost details of various freelance permits, read here.

Eligibility Criteria for Applicants

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Acquire permission from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization to work independently or as a freelancer.
  • Possess at least a bachelor’s degree or a specialized diploma in education.
  • Maintain a minimum annual self-employment income of AED 360,000* for the preceding two years, or demonstrate sufficient financial means to support oneself during the duration of stay.

Different FreeZone Packages Offered by Arnifi

In today’s global economy, businesses are constantly seeking opportunities to expand their reach and maximize their profits. Free zones have emerged as a popular option for companies looking to establish a presence in foreign markets while enjoying a range of benefits such as tax exemptions, streamlined processes, and access to state-of-the-art infrastructure. Arnifi, a leading provider of business solutions, offers a variety of free zone packages designed to cater to the diverse needs of businesses across different industries.

Arnifi provides a wide range of packages tailored for all the free zones in the UAE. Let’s explore the various free zone packages available through Arnifi. Click here to know more

1. Starter Package:

Ideal for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses dipping their toes into international markets, the Starter Package by Arnifi provides essential services to kickstart operations in a free zone. This package typically includes company registration, licensing assistance, office space, and basic amenities. With Arnifi’s guidance, entrepreneurs can navigate the complexities of establishing a business entity in a foreign jurisdiction with ease.

2. Professional Package:

Catering to the needs of established businesses seeking to expand their operations, the Professional Package offers a comprehensive suite of services to facilitate growth and scalability. In addition to the features included in the Starter Package, the Professional Package may encompass advanced administrative support, access to networking events, and customized business solutions tailored to specific industry requirements. Our team of experts at Arnifi works closely with clients to craft strategies that align with their long-term objectives.

3. Executive Package:

Designed for enterprises aiming for rapid expansion and market dominance, the Executive Package delivers premium services tailored to the most discerning business needs. This package goes beyond standard offerings to include premium office spaces in prime locations, concierge services, strategic consulting, and exclusive access to high-profile events and partnerships. Arnifi’s Executive Package empowers businesses to elevate their presence in free zones and seize lucrative opportunities for growth.

4. Customized Solutions:

Recognizing that every business is unique, Arnifi also offers customized solutions to address specific requirements and challenges faced by clients. Whether it’s navigating regulatory frameworks, optimizing supply chains, or devising marketing strategies, Arnifi’s team collaborates closely with clients to develop tailor-made solutions that drive success and sustainability in free zones.

With a diverse range of packages and personalized services, Arnifi empowers businesses of all sizes to thrive in international markets. Whether you’re a startup looking to establish a foothold or a multinational corporation aiming for expansion, Arnifi has the expertise and resources to turn your vision into reality.

Step-By-Step Guide to Apply for a Freelance Visa in Dubai

Define Your Business Activity:

Choose the specific sector or industry in which you plan to freelance, such as media, education, technology, etc.

Apply for a Freelance License:

In contrast to free zones where the license is issued by the free zone authority, acquiring a freelance license in Dubai mainland requires applying to the Department of Economic Development (DED). This entails submitting required documents and meeting sector-specific criteria.

Apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC):

If you currently hold a UAE residency under a different visa category (e.g., employment visa), secure a NOC from your existing sponsor.

Meet Legal Obligations:

Ensure compliance with all legal prerequisites, including possessing a valid passport, meeting qualifications relevant to your freelance activity, and obtaining any essential certifications.

Complete Medical Fitness Test and Obtain Insurance:

Undergo a medical fitness test and procure valid health insurance, both necessary for obtaining a residency visa in the UAE.

Apply for Residency Visa:

Submit your freelance license and other requisite documents to apply for a residency visa, granting you legal residency and work authorization in Dubai.

Visa Stamping:

Upon approval of your residency visa, proceed to have it stamped onto your passport.

Consider opening a bank account for your freelance transactions, which may be facilitated by holding a residency visa.

Costs of Dubai Freelance Visa in 2024:

When evaluating the expenses associated with obtaining and renewing your freelance visa in 2024, four primary components should be considered:

1. Freelance Permit:

AED 7,500* for both issuance and renewal of the freelance visa in Dubai. Annual renewal is obligatory.

2. Establishment Card:

AED 2,000* for both issuance and renewal of the establishment card in Dubai. Annual renewal of the card is required.

3. Employment Visa:

There are two options for employment visas in Dubai:

  • A 3-year valid visa costs AED 2,750*.
  • A 5-year valid visa costs AED 5,000*.

Renewal is necessary every 3 and 5 years, respectively.

4. Residence Visa:

If applying for a residence visa (valid for 3 years) from outside the UAE:

  • AED 3,330* for Normal processing.
  • AED 3,900* for Express processing.

If applying for a residence visa (valid for 3 years) from within the UAE:

  • AED 4,960* for the standard processing option.
  • AED 6,340* for the express processing option.


With the flexibility to work on multiple projects and the freedom to choose your own location, a freelance visa allows you to take control of your career. 

However, it is essential to stay vigilant and protect yourself from potential visa scams. By understanding the process, gathering the necessary documents, and submitting a legitimate application, you can ensure a smooth and successful visa issuance. The UAE government’s support for freelancing further highlights the value and importance they place on fostering a thriving freelance community.

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