University Students in the Middle East, Nabbesh is Looking for You!

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Nabbesh is proud to announce the launch of our Student Business Ambassador Program, and we are currently recruiting for our inaugural class of students! Please read more about this exciting new opportunity for students to see if it may be a good fit for you!

The Nabbesh Student Business Ambassador (SBA) Program

What is the Nabbesh SBA program?

The Nabbesh SBA Program is an exclusive opportunity for university students exhibiting leadership qualities to gain real-world business experience liaising between their student communities and Nabbesh. SBA’s will gain practical hands-on skills while helping to lead and empower their fellow students into the workforce the Nabbesh way. As a Nabbesh Ambassador, students will become advocates for freelancing as a new way for their peers to get work experience and earn an income!

You will be an Ambassador to your fellow students by sharing basic educational tools Nabbesh offers to students:

  • Tips to create marketable Nabbesh profiles that will help them find jobs
  • Exposure to freelance, flexible-work and entrepreneurship opportunities
  • Teaching students what employers look for in entry-level candidates
  • Practical career guidance and interview practice
  • Access to a large business and employer community seeking their skills

Requirements: You must be a current university student enrolled in a full or part-time degree program. The program requires approximately 10 hours of your time each month to engage in virtual hangouts, educational opportunities, networking sessions, and on-campus events. You are not required to live in the UAE, but you are required to live in the greater MENA region.

Duration: The SBA program is a renewable 3 month arrangement between Nabbesh and the SBA candidate. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

What does Nabbesh look for in an SBA candidate?

Nabbesh looks for current university students who are preferably in their senior year and possess the following characteristics:

  • Leadership: an ability to inspire and instill action among the student body
  • Positive mindset: an ability to see open doors instead of walls
  • Energy: someone who can campaign tirelessly for a cause/ brand
  • Inspiration: the ability to inspire other students towards their future careers
  • Curiosity: the willingness to contribute ideas and learn in the process

Why work with Nabbesh?

SBA’s have the opportunity to be part of the exciting technology start-up scene in the UAE and greater MENA region by joining the fastest growing and most exciting start-up in Dubai. If you have an entrepreneurial flair or dream of starting your own business, then gaining hands-on business experience is vital to your success.

If you would like to promote a worthy brand, if you care about your community and if you want to make a difference in people’s lives, then Nabbesh is a great fit for you.

At Nabbesh, our vision is to help showcase the best in people’s skills to help everyone find jobs, particularly the youth of the Middle East.

Do you want to be part of Nabbesh’s vision? Are you excited by the prospect of helping your fellow students enrich their lives by finding meaningful jobs?

Do you want to learn from the best and work with a winning team? Do you want to contribute and have your ideas heard? Do you want to have “Nabbesh” on your CV?

If you answered yes to all of the above questions, then the Nabbesh SBA program is a great starting point for you.

We invite you to apply today! For more information and to view the application please visit this link or e-mail Ambassadors@nabbesh.com

Announcing the Launch of Nabbesh’s Payment Services

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A message from Nabbesh Founders to all our Friends & Owls.

Nabbesh is very proud to announce the launch of our new payment services, bringing us one step closer to providing our community of nearly 30,000 freelancers all the tools you need to work your way — and get paid!  At Nabbesh, our vision is to be the preeminent platform for every independent worker and freelancer in the MENA region, providing you with a simple, easy to use, one-stop platform, to bring you more work opportunities and financial prosperity.

Our Vision: To connect every freelancer in the MENA region with a job!

When we started Nabbesh, we began with only a vision and the determination to make that vision a reality by improving the way MENA’s men, women, and youth work.  Our goal is to create a virtual marketplace for people looking to break out of the confines of outdated work models.  Technology has already revolutionized the ways we connect with friends, search for music, and now the way we search for, find, and get paid for project-based work!

One of our community members, Tariq Mehmood, was able to showcase his work to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, all because of Nabbesh.  Nabbesh is truly a marketplace that provides unlimited exposure and merit based opportunities for our community, no matter where they live.

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Nabbesh also prides itself on listening and quickly adapting to the needs of our highly-skilled community.  In a recent study, Nabbesh found that 30% of our freelancers have had a client who never paid them!  For us, that number was too high, and we personally know the negative impact that not getting paid can have on your daily lives.  So we worked hard to provide a solution to this problem!

 Getting Paid Just Got Easier

We know that there are risks associated with working for someone across borders, or online, and we also know that not everyone can commute to an office or work in more traditional ways.  But we see the potential in you, and we have harnessed technology to make getting paid securely online simple. Our new payment system now allows you to send a work proposal, a deposit request or an invoice, while providing an escrow service, giving you more peace of mind.

What does this mean exactly?  It means that people like Ameera in Jordan can work for people like Sami in Dubai, negotiate a work proposal on Nabbesh, and Ameera can actually see the deposit that Sami makes online through Nabbesh before she even begins her work.  And with our credit card payment options and our options to receive payments through bank transfer, we have improved the way you hire, pay, and receive money for your work.  No bank account?  No problem!  Nabbesh also offers simple payments through money transfer services (i.e., Western Union).  We are taking the headache out of freelancing in this region.

Benefits of Nabbesh’s New Services:

-No need for paperwork. Send proposals, deposit requests & invoices via Nabbesh

-Transparency & convenience through secure online payments

-Freelancers can receive payments via bank or money transfer services (i.e., Western Union)

-Track project history, agreements, milestone changes, all in one place on Nabbesh

-A two way rating system which helps you build a reputation and improve your visibility

We hope you like the new and improved Nabbesh!  Work your way and try it today!

Loulou Khazen Baz & Rima Al Sheikh

8 Practical Tips for MENA Freelance Journalists to Keep Business Rolling

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Today’s blog post comes from Ahmed Medien who specializes in online publishing, blog writing and social media marketing. Ahmed has experienced freelancing first-hand after he left his writer job at Tunisia Live (Tunisia’s leading news website) in January 2012. He has tried it all and has failed on several occasions, but has acquired, in the meantime, a lot practical knowledge about the profession. He also had the chance to meet other freelance journalists from everywhere in the region. 
 

If you are a freelance journalist in MENA, then worry no more. There is tons of work for you and a lot of opportunities to become a fully-established reporter in your area. The Arab Spring has brought a lot of change and dynamics to the region. And, most importantly, the world is still hooked to our news. The demand is virtually high, and you are the supplier.

Here are 8 useful tips to become the next legitimate source on Middle Eastern affairs.

The purpose of this post is to help freelance journalists position themselves both financially and professionally in the MENA media industry, and also improve your status as a freelance journalist.

1) Know your priorities

It is important to establish some priorities before getting into journalism. Journalism is a very demanding job. It can be both frustrating and exhausting if you don’t prepare or, as I call it, strategize enough for the job. Your career might not even pick up if you are not sure what you are trying to accomplish with this new job.

Therefore, it is useful to ask yourself some of these relevant questions before starting writing, filming, photographing, etc.: How many hours will you allocate to this new job? Is it going to be your main job? Are you mentally prepared to follow news around the clock in different countries and languages? Do you have the necessary technical skills to make it on top of the market? Are you ready to do it without pay?

Basically, you want to know where you are headed with this profession when you decide to take a stab at it.

2) Make the right investments

The word investments, here, could be interpreted literally and loosely as it could a more expensive phone plan, a tablet, your own website, a better camera, a better sound recorder, a video/sound editing software – you name it.

Basically, you want to make sure that you’ll be using your time and strategic location more efficiently through these assets to help you make the most of your experience as a journalist.

Internet on the go or a mobile device will help you stay connected with people and actions wherever you go if mobility is part of your reporting activity. A better camera will help you deliver better quality photos that will sell more in the market or attract more clients.

3) Get online

This is beyond obvious. It is the most efficient way to interact with your community, larger community, and also engage your audience with the kind of journalistic content that you produce.

4) Seek out an internship

Just like any other profession, you will need job credentials in journalism in order to be taken seriously by other publishers. Therefore, whether you live in a small or bigger city, try to find any media outlet that is hiring a new member in their team. This could be paid or unpaid, but it is really up to you to establish your priorities and must’s in your new career.

Preferably, you want to choose a media organization that focuses on your topics of interests be it a specific city or country, a “region”, foreign affairs, culture, etc. When you do start this new job, you want to absolutely make sure that your organization is completely onboard with staff writing or producing for other outlets. Otherwise, abstain, because it is not professional.

You will also need to quantify your experience at this new job so that you can display it nicely in numbers on your CV/portfolio. For example: I have worked x hours a week. I wrote x many articles with x thousands in unique views and social media shares. I covered x political/cultural/social demonstration events on the ground. I produced multimedia content (video, photos, sound bites) for my organization, etc.

5) Build up a portfolio

Do not limit yourself to your CV. Portfolios can make a difference when a media outlet is hiring a freelancer in the region. Your employer wants to look easily and quickly through your proven publishing, photographing or video experience and a portfolio is the best fit platform for that.

This is why you do also want to make an online portfolio. One of the most famous free portfolio hosts are Carbonmade.com. If you do believe that you even need your own website with more content to yourself, then you may also want to try breezie.com. It allows you a more aesthetic web presence that potential employers can scroll through easily.

6) Take initiative

You have got to take the initiative and go cover breaking news or any other interest of yours even if you don’t have any client yet on the line. You could always find people who would be interested in your work later. This really depends on your ability to market yourself and present your work, but that wouldn’t happen at all if you don’t have the necessary content.

Even if nobody reaches out to you personally and ask you to write or produce any media piece about a particular event, you can literally go to knock on other editors’ doors. Ask them if they would be interested to have this or that. Be creative and authentic with your coverage. This might or might not work. But, you will get some interesting contacts that you will keep for future uses and dates.

7) Narrow your breadth of coverage

This is something to keep in mind as long as you’re doing journalism. You do not want to be the kind of person who does everything. Editors will not take you seriously if you present yourself with a minimal experience – let’s say – and an alleged expertise in 10 different topics. You have got to pick one or two or three depending on what your experience is.

If you are Palestinian and have grown in the West Bank or Gaza, then you might know about the subject legitimately more than other fellow MENA freelancers. Topic expertise could be anything such as Arab Spring, war, Hezbollah, Palestine, business in the Gulf, culture, human rights, Iran, etc.

8) Pay

Pay is perhaps the trickiest subject among the other aforementioned tips. Excessive pay demands or expectations might draw some employers off especially that there are also many competitors in the media industry in MENA. Typical pay for more renowned international media organizations is often in the xxx dollars, but beware that these media companies do also know their way around the region as much as you do. Do not think of robbing anybody off. Never.

It’s hard to determine how much you should ask for pay i.e. your profit margin, as it really depends on your line of coverage, technical skills and experience. Therefore, it is best recommended to talk to peers and try to assess quantitatively and qualitatively the work expected to finish the job.

You have to send out the message clearly enough, though, at the beginning that you are expecting to be paid. You should keep some kind of leverage so that you can guarantee that you won’t be robbed off. However, in case you do agree to waive your rights to a fair compensation of your efforts, please make sure that you will commit your employer into health insurance if you know that you will be risking your life or any other legal liability of that sort.

 Did you like Ahmed’s tips? Follow him at @ahmedmedien or know more about his skills on Nabbesh 

FINALLY!!! Everything you ever wanted to know about the “rules” of freelancing in the UAE….

At Nabbesh we’ve been hearing many questions lately from our community members regarding the “rules” of setting-up as a freelancer in the UAE, and we have been listening to you!

Many of our community members in the UAE are expats who want to earn extra cash, but at the same time, want to make certain they are doing it legally!  Our Nabbesh community of nearly 30,000 come from many different backgrounds in the freelancing world, and although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone, we compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions to give you insights into the UAE’s rules on freelancing.

Frequently Asked Questions on Freelancing in the UAE

1. May I legally freelance in the UAE?   

Yes, you may freelance in the UAE!  However, it is important to distinguish between part-time work and freelancing.  Freelancing is working for yourself, where you are essentially a company made up of one person, which is perfectly legal as long as you are licensed to do so.

2. So, I need a license?

Yes you do!  You will need to secure a Trade License pertaining to your business activity from your selected Licensing Authority, and adhere to their stipulations.

3. What kind of license do I need?

The kind of license you need depends on the nature of the business you are looking to conduct.

There are two main ways of setting-up a business in Dubai and different license options for both, which a business setup specialist can explain in detail. The first is through the Dubai Department of Economic Development and the second is through one of the many Free Zones (e.g., Fujairah). 

a. Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) Business Setup

The main license types in the DED are:

1. Commercial (51% Emirati owned; 49% foreign owned), and; 

 2. Services/Professional/Consultancy (100% expat owned with a local Emirati service agent).  

b. Free Zone (FZ) Business Setup

For the free zones, both of the above license options apply, but the main differences are 1., an Emirati partner is not required, and 2., FZ businesses are 100% expat owned.

4. What are other benefits of setting-up through a Free Zone?

The general benefits of setting-up through a FZ are that companies can remain 100% foreign-owned and benefit from being “tax free” for 50 years, according to Article 15 of Law No. 1 of 2000 of the Emirate of Dubai.

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5. If I’m not a resident, may I obtain a residency visa through one of these license options? 

Yes, you may!

6. May I freelance if I’m on my husband’s visa?

Yes, you may!  You would first need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your husband as well as a labor card issued from the licensing authority/immigration office of the Emirate where the freelance company has been registered.

7. I’m working full-time but I’m interested in turning my hobby into a business.  May I obtain a license even if I’m sponsored by my employer?

Yes, you may!  Most (not all) licensing authorities would request you to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer in order for you to start your own freelancer company.

8. How long will it take to get a freelance license and setup my business?

On average the process can take anywhere from one week to ten days. 

9. Do I need to rent office space?

The majority of licensing authorities do require you to have some sort of office space within their jurisdiction, be it something minimal like a flexi-desk or a smart office, which is often already built into the price of the company setup package offered. These packages are typically catered to fit the needs of freelancers like yourselves. 

Some licensing authorities are even able to provide you with a Trade License without taking office space of any sort, however under this option you wouldn’t be able to secure any residency visas on the company, so this option is best suited to a freelancer who already has a residency visa be it through their spouse, parent or current employer.

10. Do I have to get a freelance license through a business setup specialist or can I do it myself?

You certainly can do it yourself, however most of our community members have testified that using a business setup specialist was a wiser, more sensible and efficient option, as setting up a company in the UAE can be a very time consuming and draining process.  

There are so many facets to consider when setting up a new business in the UAE, like obtaining your trade license, applying for your visa, getting business cards printed and setting up your bank account. The business setup specialist takes care of all the admin, allowing you to focus your attention on developing and growing your business.

To learn more about special licensing options and discounts available to Nabbesh users through our partners, e-mail us at license@Nabbesh.com

Disclaimer: The information contained within this blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.  The information contained here may not necessarily relay the most up-to-date regulations by the government of the UAE.  Nabbesh always recommends you check with your local authorities to make certain you are compliant with current regulations.