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Updated 3 October 2022

In order to attract and retain global talents and strengthen Dubai’s position as a global destination for freelancers, innovators, and talents, Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) has recently launched the Dubai Talent Pass. The launch of the freelancing scheme is in line with the emirate of Dubai’s aim of integrating its creative and cultural sectors into its economy.

Read on to know more about the Dubai Talent Pass.

What is the Dubai Talent Pass?

The Dubai Talent Pass is a freelance license with the aim of attracting and retaining global talents and professionals in the fields of art, culture, education, marketing and consultancy, media, and technology. The talent pass scheme is an integral part of Dubai’s efforts to bolster its freelance workforce.

Holders of the Talent Pass are allowed a three-year residency period along with a license to work in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.

What are the benefits of the Dubai Talent Pass?

First and foremost, the Talent Pass grants you a 3-year residency visa and a freelance license. This in turn will allow holders of the pass to rent office spaces provided by DAFZ and enables them to access an extensive directory of over 1,800 international and local companies who may hire their expertise and services.

Moreover, the Dubai Airport Freezone, a member of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZA), signed an MoU with Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to support issuing a 10-year “Cultural Visas” to Dubai Talent Pass holders.

Who is eligible to apply?

Those actively involved in the following fields are eligible for the freelancing scheme:

  • the art
  • culture
  • education
  • media
  • marketing and consultancy
  • technology

For example, you can apply for a Dubai Talent Pass if you plan on working as an actor, writer, or journalist. You are also eligible to apply if you’re in the advertising, training, or education industry along with other specified fields.

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How much is the cost of the Dubai Talent Pass?

The Dubai Talent Pass costs AED 9,500 and is renewable annually. However, the renewal fee will not be the same as the initial cost and will depend on the category of the applied visa and the applicant’s individual profile.

What are the required documents?

To apply for the Dubai Talent Pass, you will need:

  • Passport copy
  • Current visa copy (if they have one)
  • Portfolio/educational degree/reference letters
  • Any proof of previous experience in the field
  • Updated CV
  • The service list and fees.
  • For Tech Activities: Education degree should be relevant or an experience letter from an employer or relevant training courses

How do I apply for the Dubai Talent Pass?

First, sign off your application. The authorities will review your application and contact you with feedback. Once your application is approved, they will proceed to complete the licensing and visa process.

  • You lease a Smart Office in DAFZ as an option.
  • Make your payment
  • You will receive your license, visa, and access to “Hayyak” DAFZ’s exclusive rewards program for employees.
  • A DENA (DAFZ Enablement Agency) representative will contact you to enrol you as a service provider.

Once your application has been approved, it should take between 10 – 15 working days.

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