The gig economy consists of flexible and short-term jobs that are expanding all over the world. In the United Arab Emirates, the option for regular employment has been limiting the freelance industry. However, all that is changing and freelancers in the UAE are looking forward to better years starting in 2020. In June 2018, for example, the Dubai Creative Clusters free zone came up with a discounted package for freelancers in the media and education industries.
Employers are leading these initiatives with corporates cutting down on costs and the need for better flexibility to hire freelance workers instead of full-time employees. In this way, companies get to save more, especially on employment costs, including termination payments, statutory benefits, as well as medical expenses, among other expenses that come with traditional employment.
1. Part-Time Employees
A significant shift towards employee flexibility in the United Arab Emirates was evident after the introduction of a part-time working resolution in 2018, by the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation. The resolution sanctions employees to work for more than one MoHRE registered employer.
For the first time in many years, 2018 saw part-time working made available for students. The approval is in line with the United Arab Emirates’ vision 2021competitive knowledge economy. In addition to improving the knowledge economy, the authority for Dubai Creative Clusters is implementing the student part-time working schedule to allow young professionals to advance industry experience that complements their studies.
As a result, the United Arab Emirates is not only fostering a conducive freelance environment but also creating a competitive playing ground for freelancers. One of the crucial requirements to flourish in the gig economy in 2020 will be the possession of top-tier skills in your niche. According to the MoHRE, for example, the new resolutions aim to meet the critical dynamic requirements of UAE’s vision of cutting-edge development projects, which include:
- Transforming 25% of the transport industry by 2030 through autonomous vehicles
- Improving the region’s renewable energy utilization
- Creating the Hyperloop One, a supersonic transport network
2. Outsourcing Flexible Resources
With the UAE’s vision 2021 and 2030, respectively, it has become imperative for the region to employ external and flexible resources. Various online marketplaces for independent workers are currently mainstreaming the national economy. Previous research by Oracle, a software development company, reveals that 64% of human resource leaders in the Emirate believe that the gig economy will cut down on long-term recruitment and training costs. Similarly, the study suggests that 48% of human resource directors see the freelance approach as a leeway to developing broader and more specialist skills in the work environment.
The fact that this discussion is happening among the hiring professionals is telling. While the demand for independent workers in the UAE’s gig economy remains high, HR leaders will be looking for authorities in different sectors. If you intend to be a successful solopreneur come 2020, it is inherent to equip yourself with the top 5 universal courses for all freelancers in the UAE because employers will be looking for those skills. The rise in freelancing platforms in the Emirate further complicates the situation. UAE based independent contractors will be competing with other self-employed professionals from across the world to get on board the gig economy.
For example, during an interview with Forbes magazine, Comtach’s CEO, one of the online marketplaces for consulting professionals, says their clients in the United Arab Emirates often request for consultants across the world.
3. Diversification From The Oil Crisis
While it was difficult to picture the UAE as a freelance hub, the oil crisis is creating room for diversification. A few decades back, most people did not see entrepreneurship as a career. Today, however, it is a buzzword and an aspiration of many stand-alone professionals. According to The Report: Sharjah 2017; the UAE projects SME companies in the region to rise by 70% come the year 2021. Currently, the small and medium enterprises, which engage the majority of freelancers on a part-time basis, account for about 86% of the workforce in the private sector. The statistics point to the gig economy reinventing the UAE workplace for the better by 2020.
4. Embracing Change With Changing Times
The fast pace of transformations since the advent of the digital world makes it imperative for the different regions to embrace change to ensure their economies grow together with the rest of the world. Freelancing is increasingly becoming a viable career choice for more professionals and businesses globally, including the UAE. A Mckinsey study estimates that 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers by the year 2030. According to a 2018 feature in Egypt Today, the gig economy contributes close to 40% of the nation’s GDP.
The digital age is disrupting and expanding options. The Australian based Freelancer.com is the largest freelancing platform in the world, with more than 30 million self-employed individuals from across the globe.
The Dubai Creative Cluster Authority, in collaboration with the Tecom Group in Dubai, launched the Gofreelance initiative to offer executive coaches, creative designers, and film directors with licenses.
Staying ahead of the curve, the government of Abu Dhabi in December 2018 announced a two-year business license exemption in the Emirate for new companies and freelancers. The law is part of a stimulus package, the Ghadan 21, worth Dh 50 billion, to attract and retain experts in the changing work landscape.
The Wrap Up
Employers and consultants can embrace the gig economy as a way of bringing highly skilled independent contractors to craft and support new business structures. In this way, we can create new jobs and prospects. The latest trends indicate that we need to integrate learning in our daily lives and let go of both the traditional and conventional approaches to freelancing as an essential paradigm shift of the 2020 gig economy.
Bawabba is one of the leading freelancing platforms in the United Arab Emirates seeking to reduce the over-reliance on expatriates. Most SMEs are already hiring qualified out-of-house workers from our online network. Signing up as one of the freelancers in the UAE with us comes with plenty of benefits, including no payments, subscription fees, or intermediaries.