July 15, 2019

What’s it like to be a Freelancer in the UAE?

Our tribe is growing and there are a lot many out there who want to join but need some handholding. That’s why we requested some of our top freelancers to share their journey, experiences, insights and tips as a freelancer in the UAE. Hear them out, get inspired and then get in touch with us to register for gigs.

Mohamed Selmi
Sr. Creative Arabic Copywriter

“After having worked as a freelancer in the UAE for over 4 years, I can say that initially it’s not an easy decision to leave your secure full-time job and take up freelancing. But once you decide to take the plunge, it’ll open up a whole new world of professional experiences for you.

I have always been passionate about my work and freelancing allows me to focus better because I can choose my clients and make my own decisions. Being exposed to fresh experiences on a daily basis, I am acquiring new skills and have learnt to manage time more efficiently.

I wanted to live my dream and am doing it!”


Tip: Know the UAE laws and regulations for freelancers, get licensed and secure yourself financially for at least 6 months before quitting your full-time job.

Wael Almrawed
Freelance Art Director | Graphic Designer | Illustrator

“I have been working as a freelancer in the UAE for almost two years now. I was always driven by the idea of working hard for myself rather than one single organization and secure my career in the long run. That is why I chose to be independent and work as a Freelancer and I haven’t looked back since. I love how being a freelancer gives me the flexibility to choose my projects, build my own network and spend more time with my family.

For anyone aspiring or planning to be a freelancer in the UAE, I can tell from experience that getting licensed is very important. This not only ensures legal contracting but also protects your rights as a freelancer. And most clients and agencies prefer to work with only licensed freelancers.”


Tip: Register on platforms like Maslaha and market yourself on social media actively.

Michiel Basson
Photographer | Videographer

“It’s been approximately 7 months since I started my freelancer journey in the UAE. It started with a friend recommending me to a company to take photographs. Even before starting the assignment, the company requested for all legal contracts and paperwork to be completed. That is when I realized the importance of being legally licensed in order to be a full-time freelancer in the UAE. I obtained my license through Go Freelance in Dubai who made the process extremely simple, and I have been enjoying the perks of freelancing ever since – meeting new people, working on a variety of projects and most importantly getting a chance to prove how hard I can work.

I don’t take up more than 7 projects a month so my quality and attention is not compromised. I already have a fixed set of clients that I enjoy working with because there’s a mutual comfort level and better understanding on matters.”


Tip: Invest in building lasting relationships with clients to get more work and increase your freelancing portfolio.

Maysan Alboukai
Content Manager

“After deciding to take up freelancing in the UAE almost 6 months ago, I feel I have made the right career choice. I really like the independence it allows over my previous day job and love the fact that now, I can literally work from anywhere and I am my own boss! As a creative professional, it can sometimes get very monotonous to be stuck in a routine. By being a freelancer I can get out of that and enjoy working on a more diverse range of projects on a day-to-day basis with better flexibility.

I have recently registered on Maslaha, a platform that connects you to clients for gigs, helping you to build your network, especially for new freelancers like me.”


Tip: Learn what keeps you motivated and choose your projects accordingly.

Yousef AlHelo
Sound Recordist

“It was my dislike for routine at a regular 9 to 5 job that prompted me to take up freelancing in the UAE. It’s been over 7 years now and I really enjoy the freedom it allows me, every day. I find it very exciting to deal with multiple clients, work outdoors and on different sets on a regular basis. I can choose my projects and also enjoy higher monetary perks than most office jobs.

I have worked on building a great professional rapport with some clients through mutual trust and appreciation. This helps me maintain a steady flow of work. It’s very important to remain professional at all times despite some irregularities that come with freelancing. Great self-discipline is another area freelancers should focus on in order to efficiently deliver assigned projects.”


Tip: Know your value so that you don’t undercharge for projects.

Fevie Laurilla
Event Manager

“I have been my own boss for over 7 years now as a freelancer in the UAE. I am glad I took up this professional path because it leaves me with ample time to pursue my hobbies, do productive things and connect with relevant the social and business communities. I usually take up 4 to 5 projects a month based on my interests and enjoy the higher monetary remuneration they bring.

If I have to sum up my freelancing experience, I would say it has enabled me to discover seamless opportunities in the UAE market in a multifaceted environment.”


Tip: To establish yourself as a freelancer, choose a niche according to your skills and get a UAE freelancer license.


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