DAFZA launches Talent Pass for freelancers in media, education, marketing, consultancy and other sectors
Aims to double the sector’s contribution to the emirate’s GDP and increase its ability to attract international investments.
With the aim of attracting global talent and professionals in media, education, technology, art, marketing and consultancy, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) launched the Talent Pass licence for freelance or self-employed work on Sunday.
Under the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, 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.
To facilitate this new initiative and create the framework to process licences and visas, DAFZA signed an MoU with Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
The strategy drawn in the MoU is aligned with Dubai’s creative economy plan to boost the number of jobs in the sector from 70,000 to 150,000 within the next five years, launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai in April.
The strategy also seeks to double the contribution of the creative sector to Dubai’s GDP and increase the emirate’s ability to attract creative individuals, investors, and entrepreneurs, as well as local, regional, and international investments, all of which will help bolster Dubai’s position as a global capital for the creative economy and a hub for talent.
As per the MoU, all parties will support efforts to attract global talent to Dubai and promote it as a centre for creativity and innovation.
DAFZA will be committed to evaluating and processing applications for the Talent Pass and issue licenses that authorise holders to practice commercial activities within the free zone.
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Dubai Culture will support the Cultural Visa for holders of the applicable licence and work to encourage talent to join the free zone and tap regional and global markets through awareness and communication programmes.
The GDRFA will also promote DAFZA as a preferred destination for global businesses and Dubai as a business-friendly environment that provides talented individuals with opportunities to expand their reach to a large consumer market.
The Talent Pass qualifies its holder to obtain a residence visa for three years, in addition to renting office space through office solutions, provided by DAFZA, which feature flexible operation costs and the option of obtaining services remotely.
License holders will have access to all DAFZA customers and to the free zone’s digital platform.
DAFZA is home to over 1,800 companies across 20 economic sectors, with multinationals making up more than 30 percent of those companies.
“This MoU enables us to contribute to reinforcing Dubai’s position as a creative hub and an incubator for talent. This licence comes as a response to changing market requirements and the evolving business environment in Dubai, especially in the post-pandemic period,” said Mohammed Al Zarooni, director general of DAFZA.
Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, director general of GDRFA in Dubai, said: “The signing of the MoU on the Talent-Pass comes in line with the directives of the GDRFA and supports Dubai’s plan to create an incubator ecosystem that provides opportunities for creative talent to develop themselves and expand their business.”
“Cooperation with public and private entities has always been a key priority within our strategy to promote cultural mobility and develop the emirate’s creative and knowledge-based sectors. Our strategy aims to provide the appropriate climate for creativity to flourish, and to raise Dubai’s profile on the cultural map as an incubator for creativity and the capital of the global creative economy,” said Hala Badri, director general of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
“The creative sector is making vital contributions to enhancing the emirate’s GDP. We are fully confident that this cooperation will be successful in achieving the desired results,” she added.