UAE Freelance Visa vs Trade Visa: Which One is the Best For You?

UAE freelance visa

Have you ever considered working as a freelancer in the United Arab Emirates? If your answer is yes, you should know that you will need a UAE freelance visa for this. However, if you came to this site, it is most likely that you are inquiring about the options available and which ones are the most favorable for what you want to achieve.

In this article, we will explain what a freelance visa in the UAE is as well as what a trade visa is. Moreover, we will highlight their differences, aside from the benefits and deficiencies that each one has. Also, we will show you the freelance visa Dubai’s costs for you to organize your finances. In this way, you will be able to plan with greater awareness of what is best for your future.

  1. What is the UAE freelance visa?
  2. What is the trade visa?
  3. The benefits of the UAE freelance visa
  4. Trade visa benefits
  5. Are there disadvantages?
  6. Which one is the best for you?
  7. How can Connect Freelance help you start this process?

1. What is the UAE freelance visa?

First of all, freelancers are self-employed individuals who offer their services and are sponsored by themselves under their name and not by an established company. That means the individual is their own boss and generates their inputs independently.

That said, the emirates have become a flexible and permissive country with immigrants, giving them multiple advantages when traveling to the nation. As an entrepreneur, you have the choice of opting for an independent worker visa in the UAE. Thus, as its name indicates, you will be able to travel to the country without official financial support since you will be in charge of it.

Hence, an entrepreneur visa in the UAE guarantees a stay in the country. Meaning it warrants permission to legally practice as a freelancer in the free zones destined for these kinds of jobs.

1.1 How can you get one?

To obtain a freelance work permit in Dubai you must first contact us. Once you do, we will tell you what documents you will have to arrange to submit them along with the application you must fill out. Some of the papers to hand over will be your passport, your resume, an updated photo, your academic records, and others that you can get on our page.

Simultaneously, we will explain to you which are the free zones where you can reside in order to exert your skills.

After having filled out and sent the previously mentioned documents, you must pay the requested fees to begin the process. Then, by waiting a few days, you will know if they accepted your petition.  If that is the case, you will be able to get the certificate of your approved freelance license in Dubai.

2. What is the trade visa?

It is a license that will overall allow you to do big business. In other words, it is suitable for companies or corporations that wish to trade in various areas. With it, you can import or export goods and labor with other functions of the sales area.

In addition to assuring the actions stated, it also gives you the option of operating locally or outside the zone. Furthermore, it allows working from a place established for the company or from home.

2.1 What to do to obtain it?

To get a business license in the UAE, you must first structure the legal scope of the company, along with the name of the business to be used. Subsequently, state what trade activities you will perform with the organization. Then, you must fill out all the applications that they ask you to obtain the visa, which means doing the paperwork. In other words, organize and submit documents.

Continuing with the process, you must attain the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and other files that the local authorities will demand. Once that is completed, you will select the location where you will practice your business. Lastly, you will have to fill out the application issued by the Department for Economic Development (DED).  That way, you will finally acquire your trade license.

2.2 Major trade visas in the UAE

  • Commercial: this license broadly covers all trading activities related to commerce. A trade visa that the DED issues, are for companies that carry out activities that require capital for their exercise. Popular trading companies and other retail businesses must have a trade visa to operate in Dubai.
  • Professional: A trade license in Dubai is mandatory to carry out activities that depend on the expert knowledge and skills of the business owner. If you are curious about businesses such as consulting services, auditing firms, accounting firms, etc., you need a professional visa in Dubai. These companies appoint a Local Service Agent (LSA) and enjoy 100% ownership.
  • Industrial: The industrial license issued by the DED covers companies that transform raw materials into finished products. Manufacturing companies must obtain one to do business in Dubai. Unlike other permits, manufacturing companies must obtain approvals from the authorities. These include the Ministry of Economy, the Dubai Municipality, DEWA, and the UAE Ministry of the Interior.

3. The benefits of the UAE freelance visa

Each of these visas has its own benefits. Of course, they positively contribute to different traits according to what you are interested in doing in the United Arab Emirates. For this reason, below we will present the benefits that each one offers. Thus, you will be able to distinguish which one suits you best.

A freelance permit Dubai comes with several advantages, some of them are:

  • Flexibility of working with different companies or clients. This avail depends on what field you are going to perform. As a consequence, you will decide on who you want to practice with and carry through all the projects.
  • Another virtue is that working with a freelance visa in Dubai does not require office installation. It implies that you can work from the place you can and accommodate it to your preferences. This conveys that you can practice from a desk located in your home or a professional site that you decide to use.
  • The costs of the services can be fairly affordable. Because of not having to pay the office rent or a place, you can save plenty of money. Also, you do not have to train employees either, since you are the only one who will be working. In the same way, you do not need to pay salaries or utilities.
  • You can access the free zones of business centers while working independently. In said locations is where the freelance visa in the UAE allows establishment for self-workers. On that account, there, multiple people offer their skills independently. This means that they are highly commercial areas with a stable economy.

3.1 More gains of the freelance visa

  • An additional advantage that can be immensely useful is that you can sponsor your family with a self-employment visa for the UAE. Thus, you will be able to help your family and even have them close. However, relatives cannot sponsor freelancers in the UEA.
  • The freelance permit in Dubai also grants access to all the services and interests that any other resident in the emirate has, such as public benefits and education.
  • Last but not least, with a freelance license in Dubai, you can find clients online. With technology and modernity ruling today, this is a vital tool. What is more, there are several platforms and networks for freelance job applications. One of them, for example, is our talent pool, in which we publish you so that you can attract a large number of clients while freelancing in the UAE.

4. Trade visa benefits

Like the freelance visa in the UAE, the trade license also has its benefits:

  • To begin with, a trade visa in the UAE lets you employ more spontaneously and does not obstruct your development. What does this mean? That with it, you have more possibilities of opening businesses since you do not have the obstacle of having to work solely on your own.
  • Secondly, with it, you can hire employees if you indeed require them. Something that with a freelance license in Dubai you do not have. Therefore, you can get the necessary people to start your business.
  • Among other benefits, you can work with any kind of business system as well as with major companies. The vital matter is that you find a way to grow your profession and turn to the entities you need.
  • Moving on, when you are self-employed in the UAE, your affairs are going to evolve. By doing so, you would need more freedom in your business movements, so you would have to exchange your freelance license in Dubai for a trade one. Looking at it this way, the process would be shorter when applying for the trade visa from the start.
  • A massive advantage is that a business visa gives you the freedom to work anywhere in the territory and even internationally.
  • Finally, this visa gives your future clients more confidence. Likewise, it demonstrates that you have a background in business that guarantees greater responsibility to your potential consumers.

5. Are there disadvantages?

Although both visas have great qualities, they also have some flaws that you should know and analyze when choosing the best one for your future.

5.1 Freelance visa

Unfortunately, a self-employed visa in the United Arab Emirates has some disadvantages. First of all, with a freelance visa in the UAE, you cannot hire employees. This is due to the permit granting only a one person working in the company.

Moreover, freelancing in the UAE is only possible for certain fields and professions, such as graphic or interior design. If what you do is not among those careers, you will not be able to work legally in the region.

Although the free zones to freelance are excellent, you may find yourself limited to offering your services merely in said territories.  Additionally, you should note that in some, the demand is significantly higher than in others.

5.2 Trade visa

For starters, the prices with a business visa will be much higher. Dubai freelance visa costs can range from AED 7,500 to AED 20,000. While the prices of the trade one range from AED 25,000 to 28,000. Of course, they vary according to the durability of the residence and the services offered by the package that you will acquire.

You should also consider that with the business permit, you must pay rent, salaries, fees, and a series of additional expenses that do not come included in a freelance visa in Dubai’s costs.

6. Which one is the best for you?

To sum up, which one is better between the Freelance Visa and Trade Visa in the UAE? People have always better viewed the first choice for the aforementioned reasons. Especially for foreign entrepreneurs with massive capital to invest.

A host of freelancer visa and permit packages allow self-workers to set up shop in the free zone, either renting office space or using a flexible workplace, surrounded by other jobs that may need the freelancer’s services.

7. How can Connect Freelance help you start the process?

We offer precisely the best option for you, a freelance visa in Dubai with affordable costs and in a safe place. To obtain it, email us at, and you will receive an answer as soon as possible. You can also call +971 43316688 and we will assist you right away.

As we mentioned, we have our talent pool to promote our excellent freelancers and you can be one of them. If you are interested write and send your CV to or visit to get job offers.

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