3-year Dubai visa with new freelance licence as ‘Talent Pass’ is announced

It will be available to people of different skillsets from all countries


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 9 Jan 2022, 3:26 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jan 2022, 12:08 AM

Authorities in Dubai have launched a ‘Talent Pass’ licence for freelance work.

The new licence will be available for people with special skills and expertise from around the world. It aims to attract global talents and professionals in the fields of media, education, technology, art, marketing and consultancy.

The Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ) signed an agreement with Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to facilitate the new initiative. The MoU creates the framework for cooperation and coordination to process licences, visas and other services that support innovators in establishing, operating and growing their business in the Emirate.

The ‘Talent Pass’ qualifies its holder to obtain a residence visa for three years, in addition to renting office space provided by DAFZ. Office solutions feature support and flexible operation costs, in addition to the option of obtaining services remotely.

Licence holders will have access to the network of DAFZ customers, ranging from international companies to SMEs and entrepreneurs. They will also have access to the free zone’s digital platform that allows them to contact customers for easier access to work, contracts, and services - providing them the opportunity to expand their customer prospects.


DAFZ is home to more than 1,800 companies in over 20 vital economic sectors, with multinationals making up more than 30 per cent.

The initiative is expected to further vitalise the business environment in the free zone and strengthen Dubai’s position as a global destination for innovators and talent.

As per the MoU, DAFZ will evaluate and process applications for the ‘Talent Pass’ and issue licences that authorise holders to practise commercial activities within the free zone.

Dubai Culture will support the ‘Cultural Visa’ for holders of the applicable licence. The GDRFA will promote DAFZ as a preferred destination for global businesses and Dubai as a business-friendly environment that provides talented individuals opportunities to expand their reach to a large consumer market.

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, executive chairman of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority, said: “This MoU supports our strategic plans for supporting the national economy by enhancing the role of commercial, investment, and creative sectors in boosting the emirate’s GDP.

“This licence comes as a response to changing market requirements and the evolving business environment in Dubai, especially in the post-pandemic period … We seek to bring creative individuals from around the world to the free zone, including specialised talent looking for opportunities in this market.”

The licence will enable the business community in Dubai to benefit from the expertise of creatives, specialists and professionals from all over the world.

“It gives them the flexibility to access diverse business services at competitive prices. This licence will also attract more innovators to Dubai and widen access to professionals with a range of competencies,” added Dr Al Zarooni.

‘Talent Pass’ is part of a portfolio of licences offered by DAFZ. These include commerce licences for import, export and re-export; a general commerce licence; industrial licence for light manufacturing activities and packaging and assembly; e-commerce licence for online trading of goods and services; a licence issued in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, which allows companies registered at the Dubai Airport Freezone to apply for the Department’s license without the need for an office space for working outside the free zone; and a services licence.

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