How can I apply for a freelancer licence in Abu Dhabi?


Abu Dhabi has just made it easier for skilled professionals in certain categories to apply for a work permit without the need for a company’s sponsorship.Dubai: If you have years of experience in a specialised field and now want to set up your own consultancy, Abu Dhabi has just made it easier for skilled professionals in certain categories to apply for a work permit without the need for a company’s sponsorship.

The freelancer permit, announced by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), is available to UAE citizens, residents and non-residents, which will allow them to apply for residence visas. The permit also does not have a mandatory requirement for an office space, according to the announcement.

Application method for freelancer licence

To register for the freelancer licence, applicants can call ADDED on 02 815 8888 or register a new account with the Abu Dhabi Business Centre on

Applicants need to provide certain supporting documents before the licence is issued.
Image Credit: Stock Image

The Abu Dhabi Business Centre also has an app, available for Android and Apple devices, called ‘AD Business Centre’.

To register with the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, applicants simply need to create a new account by providing the following details:

1. Full name

2. Passport number

3. Mobile number

4. Email address

Once you set up an account, you can apply for the Freelance licence under the ‘Commercial licence’ category.

You do not need a local service agent or UAE citizen as a partner in order to apply for this licence. However, you would need to provide the following supporting documents for your application to be considered:

1. Proof of expertise in activity seeking to be licensed for: A university degree, a certificate of experience or accredited accomplishments in desired activity.

2. If the applicant is a resident:

• Working in the government sector – should attach a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer

• Working in the private sector under a permanent contract and will be participating in a similar activity – required NOC letter from employer.

• Working in the private sector on a part-time basis – NOC letter not required.

Which activities are included?

Under the terms of the recently issued resolution, ADDED has identified 48 economic activities that can be practiced with a freelancer licence.

The economic activities include:

1. Working soap forming

2. Parties and events organising

3. Tourist and recreation consultants

4. Green buildings consultant

5. Marketing consultancy and studies

6. Information technology consultancy

7. Translation publication services

8. Heritage consulting

9. Plastering and carving works

10. Coordination of natural and artificial flowers

11. Space consultancies

12. Design services

13. Consulting technical equipment

14. Fashion and clothes designing

15. Real estate consultancy

16. Public relations consultancy

17. Human resource consultancy

18. Marketing consultancy in the field of energy

19. Computer devices and equipment domain consultancy

20. Handcrafted products and environmental works

21. Landscape and gardening services

22. Marketing operations management

23. Parliamentary consultancy

24. Economic feasibility consultancy and studies

25. Administrative consultancy and studies

26. Parties and occasions photography

27. Lifestyle development consultancy

28. Calligraphers and painters

29. Agricultural extension services

30. Plague resisting consultancy

31. Procurement consulting

32. Quality, standardisation and measuring consultancy

33. Maritime consultancies services

34. Commodities designing consultancy

35. Project management services

36. Network websites designing

37. Jewellery design, jewellery

38. Statistical services consultancies

39. Personal videography

40. Gift-wrapping

41. Banking services consultancy

42. Artwork for cosmetic craft (sculpture)

43. Consultancy project development

44. Food safety consulting

45. Photography services

46. Architectural production and drawing technical consultancy

47. Fine arts consultancy

48. Logistics consultancy