UAE Intends To Introduce ‘Flexi’ Work Permits By Q3 2023


Flexible employment visa will allow holders to be effectively self-employed and hold multiple jobs

The UAE intends to introduce a new flexible work permit to allow freelance work by employees of all skills, the Emirates Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation Abdul Rahman bin Abdulmanan Al Awar said on Wednesday (March 15).

He was speaking at the ‘Remote’ business forum that aims to activate the nation’s agenda for remote work, remote education and remote healthcare. “We are working on introducing a new freelance policy that adopts all skill levels,” Al Awar said.

“It’s not only for those with high skills, but even [those with] low skill sets can have flexi work permits. They can work for themselves and work with others, as long as they are within the umbrella of the law and they have done the proper registration the with the ministry.”

He added: “I am hoping to get this done before the end of third quarter of this year.”

Al Awar clarified that the new freelance work model aimed at enhancing the workforce in the country will be an addition to all the recent reforms announced and being implemented by the country. “This will further support flexible work and remote work.”

What is the difference?

Currently, an employee in the private sector needs to have a contract with an employer or multiple employers as per the respective companies’ work requirements.

“Now with the new policy that we’re thinking of, you work for yourself. It is an ad hoc job that you decide to do whenever it’s acceptable to you, at any time, provided that it is under the umbrella of the law,” the minister explained.

He pointed out that this flexible, remote work model will benefit both employers and employees.

“The employers and the companies will feel that this is more economical for them because they don’t have to take many risks [in terms of investment]. They will rely on your skills. They will decide whether they want to continue with you or not and call you only when they need to.

“Vice versa, the employee doesn’t need to be boxed into one organisation or one type of job. They can have multiple jobs… So, this will, in my opinion, enhance the productivity in our labour market. So, we have decided to go ahead with this model.”

Dezan Shira & Associates maintain an office in Dubai and can assist with corporate registrations, tax advisory, employee visa applications, bank account opening and other ongoing business and trade compliance matters. Please contact Maria Kotova at for assistance.   

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