Interviews

In conversation with Majed Al Suwaidi, MD of Dubai Media City about the new Gofreelance initiative

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City.

Last month, TECOM Group, in partnership with Dubai Creative Cluster Authority (DCCA), launched Gofreelance, a special freelance package at US $2038 to attract talent in the UAE’s education and media sectors. A month down the line, we ask Majed Suwaidi how many registrants the initiative has attracted and what we can expect for the package.

How many people have enrolled in the Gofreelance programme since its launch in July?

Gofreelance was launched with the aim of positioning the Emirate as an innovation and talent hub in line with the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Based on customer needs and market requirements, Gofreelance was developed to cater to the significant need for freelance talent. Since we have issued the permit in July 2018, we have attracted registrations from more than 70 freelancers. In the media industry, we have several professionals such as writers, designers and actors who have been working for many years without any sort of permit, and we are pleased to support talented individuals in this region get the right paperwork to continue working in a structured manner. We are offering the Gofreelance initiative to over 50 skills in the media and entertainment sector. With our current number of registrants, we have mainly attracted the sectors of Photography, Brand Consultancy, Digital Marketing, Graphic Designing amongst many.

How many people have moved from their existing permits to this one?

The Gofreelance initiative has been a very recent launch. We do have a lot of people in the process of making changes but have not completed the full transition yet. We have a very positive response for the Gofreelance programme and look forward to welcoming more people into our community.

If a freelancer is interested in more activities, we encourage and offer the necessary facilities for them to start up their own company.

Does the facility do a one-stop shop for a freelancer instead of him having to run around for visas etc. Can it not be a full package deal?

Yes, we do. One of the facilities offered with the Gofreelance project is the availability of assistance by our representatives at the Business Centre. We have a dedicated representative for each freelancer and provide support across all touchpoints until the process is complete – from the application process to the permit and visa receipt. We are also looking forward to organising several other initiatives for our freelance community, including a unit space facility, such as giving access to office desks and meeting rooms. Moreover, we will also be organising networking and community related events. Our most recent networking events were the Suhoor networking event in Ramadan, this year. The package is tailor-made with the costs varying for every individual. For example, the visa cost will be different from a normal to urgent processing, or if the visa is processed from the UAE or abroad.

What must freelancers do if they wish to choose more than three activities?

At Dubai Media City, we are committed to create a space and knowledge base which enables, supports and nurtures media talent from all background including start-ups, entrepreneurs and large companies. The Gofreelance package has been designed in such a way that it is flexible and simple. Freelancers can choose activities that fit their business requirements. As part of the Gofreelance regulations, freelancers can choose up to three skills in one package. Dubai Media City provides the right business platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups to launch and scale-up their businesses and projects. If a freelancer is interested in more activities, we encourage and offer the necessary facilities for them to start up their own company.