Freelancers who are active in the fields of media, art, culture, education, technology, and consulting can now avail of a Talent Pass from the Dubai Airport Free Zone. This is a business license with which one can legally work anywhere in the United Arab Emirates and be eligible for a residence visa.
The Talent Pass costs AED 9,500 or $2,586 and comes with a three-year residence visa. According to Abdulaziz Al Hammadi, the Senior Vice President – Marketing and Business Growth of Dubai Airport Free Zone, the license needs to be renewed every year. Renewal charges will be different, adds Abdulaziz Al Hammadi.
To be granted a Talent Pass by the Dubai Airport Free Zone, the applicant needs to furnish a CV and a letter of recommendation or a portfolio to authenticate his/her talent in the field. Those who hold a degree in the field are exempted from providing a letter of recommendation.
Those who apply for a Talent Pass are not required to rent office space at the Dubai Airport Free Zone. However, those in need of a space to work or meet clients can make use of the facilities offered at the Dubai Airport Free Zone. The Dubai Airport Free Zone is already home to 1,800 companies spread across 20industry sectors.
The Talent Pass is being offered by the Dubai Airport Free Zone in conjunction with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and Dubai Culture. Those eligible for the UAE Golden Visa can also apply for one and be granted a five-year visa or a ten-year visa, depending on the conditions satisfied for award of the same.
David McKenzie, the Group Managing Director of Mackenzie Jones Middle East, a recruitment agency in Dubai, points out that the TECOM Group already offers a similar freelance license through its free zones – Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Design District. The Go Freelance license costs AED 7,500 per year.
The Talent Pass offered by Dubai Airport Free Zone is expected to encourage talented freelancers to set up base in the United Arab Emirates and work for both domestic and international clients. MR Raghu, the Chief Executive Officer of Marmore MENA Intelligence, says that the needs of the market have changed in the post-pandemic period to embrace more of the gig economy.