Self-employed market launched amid increase in self-employment


Alice Weightman – Founder and CEO, The Work Crowd, Issam Kazim – CEO, Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) & Mohammed Alblooshi, Head of Fintech and Innovation at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)
Image Credit: Provided

Regional companies looking for experienced professionals to perform short-term assignments or unique skills can now access the global talent pool through a digital platform recently launched in the United Arab Emirates. The online talent marketplace was started by a UK company, The Work Crowd, in response to the growing demand for knowledge-based skills and an increase in self-employment, both within the region and internationally.

The UAE government’s introduction of self-employment and remote work visas has helped make the country one of the fastest growing independent economies in the world. Meanwhile, the relaxation of regulations on business ownership has led to a dramatic increase in the number of domestic start-ups now looking for professionals with niche skills to help them get started and grow.

The latest World Bank ranking ranks the UAE 16th among 190 economies for ease of doing business, ahead of powers like Germany, Japan, China, France and Italy. Thanks to constantly updated legislation, the UAE has remained at the forefront of attracting talent. During the pandemic, it opened its doors to those looking to retire in the emirate and independents and began offering a 10-year gold visa.

Speaking at a recent event titled “UAE: The growth of a global business hub”, hosted by The Work Crowd, Issam Kazim – CEO of the Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) explained how the Arab Emirates Emirates were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, it was also among the first to roll out new policies and procedures to support business continuity. He said: “The pandemic has given us the opportunity to roll out the virtual work program, which we have been talking about for a few years. Over 3,000 people have already obtained the visa and are working virtually in Dubai for employers and clients.”

Mohammed Alblooshi, Financial Technology and Innovation Sector Manager at Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), revealed: “I have never seen such an increase in the demand for talent than we are experiencing today. We have start-ups that expect to grow. at an unprecedented rate, and every CEO or business owner I speak to seeks outside expertise to help achieve that growth. This year, we plan to attract around 200 to 250 start-ups, which is more than what we have attracted in the last three years combined. “

According to founder and CEO Alice Weightman, it was this demand and the country’s pro-business policies that prompted The Work Crowd to bring the platform to the UAE. She said: “Our aim is to serve both freelancers and businesses by connecting independent professionals in the region with international opportunities and, at the same time, helping companies established here to find the global talents of which they need to grow their business. the UAE Distance Work Visa has opened the doors for freelancers around the world who want to take advantage of all the UAE has to offer; a safe living environment, low taxation and the opportunity to reside in an exciting multicultural city. “

Explaining the timing of the launch, Alice continued, “The pandemic has decoupled the concept of work from the workplace and made people rethink how and where they want to be employed. We know from research that 56% of self-employed people feel better financially. safety, while 70% generally feel happier in their life. This integration of flexible working, combined with the benefits of the self-employment lifestyle, has led many people to explore self-employment as a career choice.

Speaking on the opportunities for freelancers in the region, Alice said: “With 40% of the GDP generated by SMEs in the UAE, there is a huge demand for talented workers who can provide the skills to help these businesses. to thrive. We anticipate a strong demand for freelancers in a wide range of disciplines, from digital marketing professionals to artificial intelligence experts.

“The Work Crowd reassures employers that the freelancers they hire are legitimate and trustworthy. 50% of our new freelance registrations are from the United Arab Emirates, which shows how it’s taken off. Our principle is to connect the local and access the world. “

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