How does the future workplace look? When will our first office on the moon kickstart and who will get there first? Our world is getting smaller with the way we are communicating, which means our working style is changing.

Extensive studies from various type of platforms have discussed and shown the differences between open office versus quiet workplaces, and the combination of the two by adding technology savvy furniture’s and design to offer a space to rest and work without being disturbed.

Agile working, your office is your home or your home becomes your office, biophilic interiors and how greenery can benefit our wellbeing. Yoga exercises, making the office a CrossFit parkour.

You name it. We are all looking at ways the experience of our office spaces can be most effective, inspirational, space saving and most importantly sustainable.

SHUROOQ head office, Sharjah. Photographer, Obaid Al Budoor

With the current different generations within the workforce and styles of working the main question I would like to know is the following; In what form are we employed? Is this full time? Freelance? Or are we a sole practitioner? Let us start the discussion on Fulltime employment versus Freelancing or being a sole practitioner within the United Arab Emirates?

A short explanation on what these types of work forms entail are described below:


When you are employed full time, it means you have a contract with your employer for a certain amount of time of which you will be working for them on a full-time basis.

Your salary is typically divided into a basic salary and a housing allowance (car allowance, depending if you will be on the road a lot).

Healthcare is mandatory same goes for residence visa and Emirates ID. Extra benefits such as flight tickets to your home country, mobile phone, laptop etc. defers on each company.

KNOWLEDGE, Sharjah. Photographer, Obaid Al Budoor


As a freelancer you are responsible for your own license to work, residence visa and Emirates ID, including healthcare.

You can work with different companies depending on the time you have both agreed on.

Since you will be the one carrying the costs, both the company and you have more flexibility and freedom while working together on projects.

EMIRATES PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION, Sharjah. Photographer, Leoni Milano


As a sole practitioner you can either work as a freelancer or take on projects on your own (or with a team of sole practitioners). You are responsible for your own license to work, residence visa and emirates ID, including healthcare and the necessary insurance such as liability insurance. The main difference with this license is that you are not able to hire staff under your wing, as it is not registered as a company, but under your own name.

As I have experienced all three different forms of working I will describe in the following blogposts more in depth on the variety of working styles, the pros and cons and anecdotes from a personal point of view.

SHUROOQ head office, Sharjah. Photographer, Obaid Al Budoor

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