Dh37,000 Average Salary: UAE Freelance Job Registrations Double

Dh37,000 Average Salary: UAE Freelance Job Registrations Double

On a platform where freelancers can offer their skills when needed, there has been a big jump in the number of people signing up.

In 2023, registrations increased by 122% compared to the year before. According to Azeem Zainulbhai, a leader at Outsized, a company that helps with hiring, the average pay for freelancers in the UAE varies depending on their experience, how long their project lasts, and what skills they have. For example, someone with 7-10 years of experience might earn around $400-500 a day (up to Dh1,800) for a year-long project. This is much more than what freelancers in the Mena region usually make, which is about $309 a day (Dh1,100).

Azeem also mentioned that the freelance economy in the Mena region, which includes the UAE, is growing rapidly. On average, freelancers in the UAE have about 11-12 years of experience, which is more than the Mena region's average of 10.1 years. This expertise level is higher than in other regions like Apac and Africa.

The increase in freelancer registrations is attributed to several factors. The UAE offers various visa options, many industries are embracing technology, and the government has policies that support freelancers.

Top skills

According to the Talent On Demand 2024 report by the company, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is experiencing a significant increase in demand for freelance talent, which is different from the decrease seen in the United States and Europe. This demand covers various sectors including IT, banking, finance, real estate, construction, energy, and hospitality. Specifically in the UAE, there's a growing need for skilled professionals in technology, project management, business transformation, cybersecurity, and other important areas, as highlighted by Azeem.

In the UAE, the most sought-after skills in the job market include:

Product and Proposition

  • Launching new card products
  • Enhancing customer experience
  • Managing card operations
  • Developing new products

Change Management

  • Managing projects
  • Implementing agile methodologies
  • Analyzing business data
  • Leading business transformations

Sales and Marketing

  • Digital marketing strategies
  • Developing business opportunities
  • Formulating go-to-market strategies
  • Managing loyalty programs

Risk Management

  • Identifying and managing risks
  • Developing risk models
  • Providing advisory services to governments
  • Managing fraud risks

Strategy Consulting

  • Advising on business strategies
  • Planning and implementing consulting projects

These insights provide valuable information for companies regarding the current skills in demand and hiring practices in the UAE market.

According to the Hays GCC Salary & Employment Report 2024, most companies (87%) plan to hire permanent employees this year. However, 19% are considering hiring temporary contract workers, while 16% are looking into hiring freelancers.

Even companies that aren't planning to increase their overall staff numbers will still need to hire for various reasons such as turnover, skill gaps, or project-based work. This means there will be opportunities for job-seekers in different types of employment arrangements, including permanent roles, temporary positions, contract work, and freelance opportunities.

The report also reveals that while 41% of employers have noticed an increase in job applicants compared to the past, 41% also mentioned a shortage of skilled professionals.

Azeem noted that the growing demand for independent talent in the UAE is due to a global skills shortage, which is expected to result in 85.2 million unfilled jobs by 2030 in sectors like finance and business services. Companies are seeking skilled talent to fill these gaps, offering specialized services that provide flexibility and agility.

Outsized predicts that in 2024, companies will continue to adopt a more comprehensive approach to agile talent. They won't just use independent workers for specific projects but will see them as a competitive advantage to be utilized at scale proactively.

Visas, residency

The UAE's increasing demand for freelancers is fueled by its range of visa options. Azeem highlighted the country's "open immigration policies," which provide freelance visas enabling professionals to sponsor themselves and their families, ensuring stability and happiness.

Azeem emphasized that independent skilled professionals interested in living in the UAE have various residency options that remove the need for local sponsorship. These options include Golden Visas and freelance permits issued by free zones offering residencies. Additionally, for those seeking a more temporary stay, visas like the Dubai Digital Nomad and UAE's Remote Worker permits allow independent talent to reside in Dubai for around a year.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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