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How to Start Working as a Freelance Translator in Dubai?

Apr 4, 2023

How to Start Working as a Freelance Translator in Dubai?

With businesses going global, it is becoming increasingly important to communicate with international clients in their native language. This demand has created new opportunities for people fluent in multiple languages to work in translation, especially in Dubai, where businesses hire various translators, including Arabic experts, for official document preparation. 

What better way to work independently than as a freelancer?

What is a freelance translator?

A freelance translator is a self-employed individual who converts written materials from one language to another. These professionals frequently work with multiple clients on individual or ongoing projects.

Why Become a Translator?

Translation in the regional language Arabic, as well as English, is in high demand in Dubai. You don't need certifications to prove your proficiency, and if you speak Arabic language and English significantly offers opportunities in the public and private sectors.

You must be fluent in at least two languages to work as a freelance translator. If you are not fluent in a second language, consider taking language classes or studying abroad to improve your skills and boost your earning potential.

Even foreign languages such as Chinese, French, German, English, and Spanish are the most in-demand in Dubai. For starters, freelancing is a better way to get started, but as you gain more experience, we recommend creating your website and marketing your work on job boards. In fact, you can start your own translating agency. 

Consider getting certified in translation by taking a course or examination from a reputable organization. Certification can give you credibility and help you stand out from other translators.

Where to Begin?

Begin your freelance translation career by registering with websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and PeoplePerHour, where companies post translation projects. The catch is that you do not get to choose how much you want to charge for each project; instead, the employer will set the fee per project.

You must have a bachelor's degree or prior experience in the language to register with these portals. Without both, you can enrol in an online course by a recognized institution or college.

How to Become a Freelance Translator in Dubai?

A license and permit from the relevant authority, either mainland or free zone, are required to establish as a freelancer in Dubai. Notably, one must have a residence visa to apply for a freelance permit.

Here are some easy steps to become a freelance translator in Dubai:

  1. Decide the languages you want to translate. 
  2. You should be proficient in the language, and if that's not your mother tongue, then get the certificates.
  3. Fix your rates.
  4. Get a freelance permit
  5. Establish your website and social media presence.
  6. Enhance your network through LinkedIn and networking platforms.
  7. Sign up for websites that can get you, clients.
  8. Be consistent.

Legally Register Yourself

You need a residency visa to work legally in the UAE as a freelancer. If you are not a UAE citizen, you must obtain a residency visa through an employer or set up your own business. After getting the visa, you can apply for a freelance permit. 

The documents necessary for obtaining the licenses would be as follows:

  1. Relevant degrees attested from relevant authority;
  2. Residence visa copy
  3. Resume;
  4. No-objection certificate from the current sponsor if required;
  5. Passport copy.

Steps involved in obtaining such a license from the relevant authority:

  1. Finalize the activity to receive a permit;
  2. Apply along with relevant documents;
  3. Deposit the requisite payments;
  4. Within 10 business days, you will get the license.

Tax Implications as a Freelancer in Dubai

Individuals working as freelancers in the UAE do not have to pay personal or corporate taxes. The only tax you may have to pay is VAT, which includes the following:

  • If your annual income exceeds Dhs. 375,000, you must register for VAT.
  • If you earn between Dhs. 187,500 and Dhs. 375,000, you can register for VAT; anyone earning less than these amounts does not need to register.

Finally, you can become a true professional and successful translator in Dubai if you follow all the legal formalities, work hard, and plan well for the ultimate goal. And Keep learning! Stay up-to-date with industry trends and advances in translation technology. Continuously improve your language skills and knowledge of your specialized areas.

Always remember the English proverb, "Where there's a will, there's a way!" We hope we have provided all the information about the topic, and we wish you. 

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