How to be a Professional Freelance Photographer in Dubai?

Photography is an art. It is a business that will never fall into a recession. And Dubai is a hotspot for aspiring photographers, with ultra-modern infrastructure and beaming luxurious spots. For individuals, whether you are a freelance photographer in Dubai or employed, you sure won’t be disappointed. 

Undoubtedly, you will always have exciting picturesque places to capture. However, making money from such art can be a challenge. In this blog, we will break down how you can make your passion your career and start earning as a freelance photographer in Dubai


The Process:

Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City are two excellent free zones in which to establish a photography business. The free zones provide a variety of services for professional photographers, but you may also take advantage of the region’s most respected media centers in these free zones.

While the license required is likely to be the same whether you are providing photography or videography services, you must identify the activities you wish to perform, such as photography, videography, and production, among others. 

Factors to consider before working as a freelance photographer in Dubai:

  • Location

Before you begin your career as a freelance photographer in Dubai, you must select an advantageous location for your business. Activities relating to the media sector can be found in Dubai Media City or Dubai Studio City. From news to public relations, entertainment to commercial communications, and everything in between.

You will be surrounded by a vast and diversified number of clients that require photography services in these regions. Furthermore, you will face healthy competition from other photography-focused businesses, motivating you to improve your services.

  • Understand the industry

Photography is a skill that demands practice and devotion. Although much of the work, such as portraits and images for legal documents, can be done from home, photoshoots require travel to pre-determined sites. Both occupations necessitate extensive editing skills as well as the requisite tools to produce a high-quality product.

  • Utilize the power of social media marketing

Using networks like Instagram or Facebook to grow your business will be quite beneficial. You will not only be able to provide information about your studio, its location, and hours on these websites. Your clients will be able to view your portfolio and evaluate if your company is a good fit for them.

Furthermore, employing these platforms will allow you to keep in closer contact with your customers.

  • Broaden your horizons

You can also consider video services in addition to photography. These are in high demand, particularly for family gatherings such as weddings, graduations, and birthday parties. Furthermore, some clients may desire professional-grade live memories of their loved ones.

If your photography business expands, it will benefit from providing videography services and giving customers what they desire.

What You Will Need: 

You must submit the following documentation to begin working in certain of these zones and obtain a freelance photography license:

  • Copy of passport 
  • Credentials
  • CV 
  • Examples of work
  • A letter of recommendation from a previous job (if possible)

National Media Council 

You should be aware that to work in the UAE, you must obtain a local permit from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the National Media Council (NMC). In the UAE, outdoor photography is a restricted activity. Thus you need a permit from the NMC. 

The National Media Council is the regulating body for any media-related activities in the country. Any aerial or ground-level photography session in public places requires an online application and permit. 

The following are the prerequisites for obtaining a photography permit:

  • Confirm the start and end times of the photographic session 
  • Identify the photography location
  • Provide contact information for all photographers

Dubai: City of Opportunities 



Dubai is at the forefront of encouraging aspiring freelancers worldwide to establish business operations in the mainland, with additional benefits in free zones.

If you want to be a freelance photographer in Dubai, you will discover many options, just like many other businesses that have sprouted up across the UAE. The city provides freelance photographers with a vast prospective client base, career options, and a variety of attractive locations to snap stunning photos. If you are new to Dubai, achieving the above-mentioned might be a notch harder. Thus, we recommended hiring a professional business setup consultancy in Dubai who can guide you from the first step to the complete setup. You can also consult PRO services, a major part of a business consultancy for a freelance visa or photography license, among other services.