Agency vs Freelancing- Which one is better?

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In recent years, the freelance market has exploded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This development that was further pushed by the pandemic has resulted in a thrilling ambience for businesses as well as freelancers in the UAE. However, despite their importance to the outsourcing industry, agencies have seen a shift towards individual contracting caused by freelance platforms and surging demand for flexible talent.

The factors behind this change, let’s learn about them to find out which one is right for you: freelancing or agency?

What is an agency?

An agency refers to a corporation where professionals with different talents work under one roof. They handle project management, communication and resource allocation which save customers time since these agencies are a one stop solution for businesses seeking expertise.

Pros of Agencies
  • Workflow Organization: Agencies take on all aspects of projects from start to end that gives you more free time.
  • Teamwork & Collaboration: You will get diverse people with different skills working on your work.
  • Standardized Procedures: Their procedures ensure high quality and consistency during the execution of projects.
  • Availability of Resources: Make use of the agency’s infrastructure, tools and software for perfect output.

Cons of Agencies
  • Higher Costs: Agencies usually charge more than freelancers due to overhead expenses and managing a team.
  • Lack Of Personal Touch: Communication may have to pass through several layers in an agency before it reaches you.
  • Finding The Right Fit: It’s possible that a large agency won’t have niche knowledge needed for your project.

Pros Of Hiring Freelancers In UAE
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring freelancers often results in lower overhead costs compared to agencies. A report by highlights that the average hourly rate for freelancers in the UAE is $28, potentially offering significant cost savings for businesses compared to agency markups.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Freelancers offer a flexible solution, allowing you to scale your workforce up or down based on project needs. This is particular
    beneficial for businesses with fluctuating workloads or specific project requirements. There are multiple benefits for freelance license in the UAE.
  • Access to Diverse Talent Pool: Freelance platforms provide access to a vast pool of skilled professionals across various fields. A 2023 report by indicates a 42% increase in the number of freelancers in the UAE compared to the previous year, showcasing the growing talent pool available.
  • Direct Communication and Control: Working directly with freelancers fosters more personalized communication and control over the project. You can provide clear instructions, receive timely updates, and maintain a closer relationship with the individual working on your project.
  • Specialized Skills: Freelancers often specialize in specific areas, offering a higher level of expertise in their chosen field compared to generalists within an agency structure.

Why is the UAE freelance market thriving?
  • Post-Pandemic Shift: The pandemic triggered a surge in remote work, making freelancing a more viable and attractive option for both businesses and individuals. A report by Gulf News found that 80% of UAE companies now offer remote work options, further facilitating the growth of the freelance market. 
  • Growing Gig Economy: The UAE has embraced the gig economy, recognizing the potential of freelance talent and actively promoting its growth. The World Bank estimates that self-employed individuals account for approximately 4.47% of the total UAE workforce, highlighting the growing trend.
  • Government Initiatives: The UAE government has implemented various initiatives to support freelance professionals, including streamlined visa processes and dedicated co-working spaces. This supportive environment encourages individuals to pursue freelance careers.
  • Technological Advancements: Online platforms and mobile apps like yours have made it easier than ever for businesses to connect with qualified freelancers, streamlining the hiring process.
How to become a freelancer in the UAE

Freelancing in the UAE can be a fantastic opportunity to work independently and with diverse clients. Here’s a roadmap to get you started with acquiring a freelance license in the UAE:

1. Choose Your Field and Secure the Legals
  • Identify Your Expertise: Determine the services you’ll offer as a freelancer. This could be writing, design, programming, consulting, or something else entirely.
  • Obtain a Freelance License: Working legally as a freelancer in the UAE requires a freelance license. This is typically obtained through one of the UAE’s free zones, which offer business advantages. There are also freelance visa options for non-residents. Research the specific requirements for your chosen field and desired location. Consider consulting a company specializing in freelance visa in the UAE for guidance. Refer to our blog on how to get a freelance license in the UAE to understand better.
2. Build Your Brand Identity
  • Create a Strong Portfolio: Showcase your skills and experience with a professional portfolio website or a well-maintained online presence.
  • Set Competitive Rates: Research average rates for your services in the UAE to establish competitive pricing.        
3. Find Clients:
  • Utilize Freelance Platforms: Look for projects and connect with clients on online freelance platforms like
  • Network actively: Build relationships with potential clients through networking events or online communities focused on your field.


The UAE’s freelance market presents a wealth of opportunities for both businesses and individuals. By understanding the advantages of hiring freelancers and the supportive environment within the UAE, you can play a significant role in connecting businesses with the right talent and empowering freelancers to thrive in this dynamic market.

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