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Surge in freelance contractors in the ME


23 Jul 2021

Contractors and freelance consultants are becoming a key resource in the MENA region 

The demand for freelance work and the quality of its delivery infrastructure are on the rise in the MENA region, making it an important part of the global revolution in the labour market. According to a regional survey 7 in 10 professionals consider freelancing in the region a good option. Among those already freelancing 80% agree that the demand for freelancing had increased since the start of the pandemic and plan to continue freelancing.  

Freelancing has provided an opportunity for both employers and potential employees to leverage the pandemic and speed up the process of opening to a more flexible and short-term contract work model across the region. The new “flexible work system” in Saudi Arabia allows employers to contract hourly workers without additional regulatory and budget burdens associated with full-time employment. Dubai also supports the shift to remote work and the gig economy with its covid recovery “The Great Economic Reset Programme”. Moreover, research in the region shows that the most valuable benefit from the perspective of companies engaging freelancers is not the price. According to 52,3% of respondents from MENA region contractors are better at delivering within tight deadlines, and this is the key systemic competitive advantage present in the freelancer’s model. 

New digital channels are the catalyst of the growing gig economy in the MENA region. Online job sites and professional platforms are the most popular means to find professional freelancers and freelance work in the Middle East. International freelancing giants such as Upwork or Freelancer have a prominent presence in the region, but the market is increasingly in need of highly specialized and regionalized expertise. For example, Ureed, a marketplace with headquarters in Dubai, has rapidly developed its regional linguistic content-focused platform   

EonD has been following this trend with a major expansion of its freelance contractors and consultants’ network in the ME, complementing its global resource of highly experienced subject matter experts. EonD has also taken an innovative approach building a platform that combines freelance consultants and SME’s, responding to the increased demand in the region.  

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