How to get a trade license in the UAE for gaming and e-sports | twofour54

How to get a trade license in the UAE for gaming and e-sports

Gamers gaming in e-sports cafe

Thanks to Abu Dhabi Gaming (AD Gaming), the recently launched initiative pioneered by twofour54, the UAE capital is well on its way to becoming one of the Middle East’s leading gaming hubs.

Supported by major companies Unity Technologies, Flash Entertainment, UAE Pro League, Emirates Esports Association and the Media Zone Authority, AD Gaming is bringing a whole calendar of exciting, year-round gaming events to the region. It will also see 15 new innovative gaming and esports businesses open up at Yas Creative Hub, the future home of twofour54.

It’s great news for those who are hoping to learn more about gaming too. The project has partnered with Abu Dhabi University, NYU Abu Dhabi and University of Sharjah to develop courses in AI, virtual reality, game development and coding skills. These are designed to nurture a whole new wave of local gaming talents and ensure that the city’s gaming industry only continues to get stronger and stronger.

However, this blog is specifically for those of you who are wanting to set up your own gaming or e-sports business, and therefore wondering how you can get a trade license in the UAE for that.

Keep reading for how twofour54 can help…


The rise of gaming and freelancing

Over the last two years, we’ve watched our freelancer community at twofour54 grow and expand at a rapid rate.

With the pandemic encouraging people to try working remotely, develop more forms of digital communication and make the transition into being self-employed, last year we welcomed 350 new freelancers into our network between January and November, alone.

This includes media professionals working in fields as varied as videography, creative design, script writing and, of course, gaming, which coincidentally has also grown enormously since the global crisis began.

Considering the fact that the majority of the world has spent most of the last year or so at home, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that virtual, socially distanced forms of entertainment like gaming are now more popular than ever.

In fact, Michael Garin, CEO of twofour54 revealed that global gaming revenues are expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023.


More options for businesses and freelancers

So, after recognising the potential of both these expanding sectors, twofour54 and the Media Zone Authority (MZA) decided to introduce an amazing 57 new license categories for gaming freelancers and businesses.

This meant that professionals in fields like game development, eSports, virtual and augmented reality, animation and web and app development were suddenly able to set up a business in Abu Dhabi more efficiently and smoothly than ever before.

Since then, we’ve since seen countless SMEs and innovative brands go through us to get their trade license in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

We’re also super proud of the fact that twofour54 was the first free zone in the region to offer a dedicated e-sports license. We’re confident that this area is only going to continue to grow and grow and that more free zones across the globe will soon follow suit.


A new home at Yas Creative Hub

As mentioned above, Yas Creative Hub is set to open towards the end of the year and it is inviting established companies, new start-up businesses, SMEs and freelance professionals from across the globe to come and join them.

Designed to encourage growth and collaborations within the industry, those specialising in content creation, events management, broadcast media and advertising are able to work side-by-side with PR professionals, media giants such as CNN, Vice and Unity Technologies, and of course, video-game creators.

The number of professionals working within the centre expected to triple within the next 10 years, and you can be one of them simply by applying for a trade license, or Sole Proprietor License withtwofour54.


So how can you get a trade license for the UAE?

If you’re applying to become a freelancer then you will be required to prepare a few documents for us beforehand: a colored copy of your passport, passport-sized digital photo, up-to-date CV and two professional references (with contact details).We’ll also ask you for a work offer or a letter of intent from a twofour54 business partner, but if you don’t have one, don’t panic…

Instead, you can submit a business plan, including a brief personal profile, details of the work you’ve already carried out, as well as showcasing the work you wish to conduct within the zone and with the twofur54 partners as well as an estimate of how much income you expect to make.

Once we have all this, we’ll review your application and get back to you with feedback for correction if required and a decision on the success of your license application.

Plus, as an extra bonus, we’ve also waived all freelance license fees for each new applicant’s first two years*. This means that all you have to pay is the fee for processing your residency visa.

*T&Cs apply

Or, if you’re launching your own company, we’ll help you set up as a Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC).

For this you’ll also need to submit a business form or plan, then they’ll need to sign the required commercial, legal and regulatory documents and finally, provide any applicable payments (if the licensing fees aren’t totally waived).

For more information, visit our freelancer page or our business setup page.