Dubai’s e-Trader explained: Licence for freelancers at their residence offers three visas

e-Trader aims to licence business activities that operate from their place of residence, online or on social networking sites.


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 25 Jan 2022, 11:21 AM

Dubai has a system that licenses freelancers at their place of residence. The e-Trader licence enables start-ups to conduct business activities online and across social networking platforms.

The licensee cannot open a shop/store but can avail of three visas if the ownership is 100 per cent Emirati and the legal liability falls under the licence holder.

Over 16,400 e-Trader licences have been issued since its launch in March 2017 till end of 2021.

The Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) said the total number of e-Trader licences issued in 2021 reached 6,217 - an increase 6 per cent compared 2020.

e-Trader aims to licence startups and business activities that operate from their place of residence, online or on social networking sites. The licence, which is issued electronically, aims to guide traders “towards the right path” to enter the business world.

Which businesses are thriving?

According to the BRL sector’s report, 79 per cent of the e-Trader licences issued in 2021 were professional, and 21 per cent, commercial.

Information Technology, readymade garments, women’s tailoring and design, handicrafts, men’s tailoring and design, publishing and printing services, facility management, marketing services, and preparation of food, topped the list of activities of the licences issued in 2021.

“Through e-Trader licence, DET seeks to regulate and enhance ease of doing business electronically, find a platform that supports and develops trade as well as connect customers with traders,” BRL said.

The BRL sector focuses on providing support to e-Trader licence holders by signing partnerships with government and private sectors, providing facilities for their business growth as well as opening new channels by enhancing cooperation with major sales outlets.


Licensees will:

>> Get Dubai Chamber membership for commercial activities;

>> Benefitting from bank facilities;

>> Getting Customs Client Code, which facilitates import and export via;

>> Get temporary employment services;

>> Can participate in exhibitions and conferences and training workshop; and

>> Can display products at consumer points of sale.

E-commerce haven

Dubai has been seeing a growing momentum of e-shopping, as the emirate has become a platform for the largest e-commerce companies in the world.

“This is due to its flexible business and investment environment, government integration with the private sector and its logistical advantages, as well as strategic location that facilitates global trade,” the sector said.


The 'UAE eCommerce Landscape’ study, conducted jointly by DET and Visa in 2020, showed Dubai leading the list of the fastest-growing and developing e-commerce markets in the Middle East and North Africa. “This digital transformation has enhanced the confidence of investors in the sector and its opportunities for growth and development.”

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