Posted May 10th, 2023
25 Best Side Hustles in Dubai to Earn Extra Money with Little to No Experience
“Take the blue bill and keep your current lifestyle
Take the red bill and learn effective 25 side hustles in Dubai.”
- Morpheus and Neo in 2022 in the Dubai version of The Matrix
Whether you’re new in Dubai or have been living here for years, you must have heard Pratik Bachan’s famous quote, “You Say Money Can’t Buy Happiness? Habibi, Come to Dubai.” The Indian performer, who has over 6 million Instagram followers, captured the Dubai lifestyle's appeal in a few simple words.
In Dubai and other UAE emirates, the pursuit of happiness through the race to earn money is a common reason why many foreigners move here. Yet, how can you generate a side income despite the demanding daily work and commitments that come with living in the UAE?
This article will highlight 25 side hustles in Dubai that can help you earn extra cash and maximise your enjoyment of this great city or other Emirates.
We’ve also included BONUS TIPS to help boost your side hustle game in Dubai as soon as possible.
[Do you want a more cost-effective way to send money abroad as you earn extra money from your side hustles? Download the Hubpay app for free on Apple or the Google Play stores to enjoy low-cost international money transfers, as well as international bill payments and mobile recharges.]
1. Consider pet house sitting
There are currently more than 1.3 million pets in the UAE and you should see that as an opportunity to make money.
These fur babies need to be taken care of when their owners leave for the office or go out on a date. If you are an animal lover, you can house sit these pets while their owners return.
You can also take the dogs out in the local community for a walk and have some fun.
Also, the side income will increase significantly if some particular skills are involved, like training or a specific type of pet care.
Gaining people’s trust isn’t easy, but once you become their pet’s favourite house sitter or daily walker, you become a part of their life.
Utilise social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok to spread the word about your pet sitting and walking services. You can easily make a friendly post and promote it in various parts of the city with a very affordable budget.
According to Salary Expert, the average hourly rate for a beginner pet sitter in Dubai is AED 31.49; that’s a good amount of dirhams for an easy job.
2. Proctor online exams
Online schooling has taken the world by storm. Many schools and colleges in UAE and abroad are adopting online media for education. The opportunity to make extra income in Dubai resides clearly in proctoring online tests.
In primary school, we all remember that person who hovered around to keep an eye on the students to prevent exam cheating and ensure no one gets extra time.
In the same way, many online schools in the UAE will pay a decent amount of money for individuals to monitor those who take their exams online.
Usually, no exceptional skills are required from online test proctors. All it takes is a good command of the English language, a reasonable level of education, and flexible availability during exam hours. According to Glassdoor, the popular job review platform, you can make an average of $14/hour as an online test proctor. Grab the chance, check open vacancies on popular job portals, and apply.
3. Invest in handcrafting skills
Lucky are those who can craft something meaningful with their hands.
You can monetize these skills and earn money if you are a crafting enthusiast. For example, you can try making homemade accessories or producing one-off paintings. This can end up being a considerable source of income; plus, how great would it be to earn money while doing something you enjoy in your spare time?
The UAE is a multicultural country, and many people there are eager for those one-of-a-kind handmade goods, which provides a good opportunity. However, if you don’t know where to showcase your work, the internet is your best friend to launch your side hustle.
Etsy is an online marketplace where you can sell handmade products. This side hustle can also become a full-time job if you design your website and sign up your business on social platforms. Start small today because you might get lucky, like Nazlia Yunus, who started with $20 and was later featured on Forbes 30 under 30 for her success in creating jewellery.
4. Accept local promotion jobs
Promotion jobs are temporary side gigs you can apply for at your convenience, whether in crowded events, shopping malls, or hypermarket corners. In a buzzing city like Dubai, events pop up everywhere, and those events are a magnet for companies to introduce their products directly to consumers.
Now that the pandemic is over and lockdowns are finally lifted, companies are back to launching promotional campaigns.
For example, you can sign up for a few hours of distributing samples, handing out flyers, or educating customers about a specific product. Such side hustles in Dubai are very flexible and can be for a couple of hours daily or sometimes for whole days, depending on your availability.
5. Social media management for SMEs
Surfing through social media is time-consuming today, and people spend almost all their spare time checking Facebook, TikTok, or viewing the latest Instagram reels. Therefore, all businesses are adding digital ads to their marketing strategy, especially small businesses in Dubai.
However, these small businesses either have no time or do not know how to manage their social media accounts. So if you’re skilled with social media, you can easily earn some money on the side by offering your services to SMEs as a freelance digital marketing specialist.
You need to learn basic skills like fundamental graphic design for a revenue-generating digital marketing side hustle. However, once you feel you can start offering your services, try freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. You can also pay a visit to small shops in the local markets of Dubai to promote your SMM services; you might get lucky with small to medium mom-and-pop businesses because they need digital marketing and don’t always know how to do it.
6. Become a digital content creator
Having that 15 minutes of fame on social media is now available for everyone with something new to bring to the table. People can make videos about dancing, cooking shows, travel guides, lifestyle tips, and much more; the options are endless and the sky is your limit when it comes to impressing people on social media.
Content creation is a booming industry in Dubai, attracting creators from around the world, so it could be an excellent opportunity to build a followers base and create extra income.
Some platforms like TikTok have payment programs for micro-influencers and content creators. And you don’t have to be Kim Kardashian to start your content creation career today.
It doesn’t require extraordinary skills to make people like you. Take Khaby Lame as an example; the Italian-Senegalese factory worker has reached hundreds of millions without saying a word and turned a few fun videos into a lifetime career and worldwide fame.
Side hustles in Dubai can be fun; look around and think of something new to present on social media. Don’t feel shy to start posting different content because it might be your lucky charm!
7. Invest in dividend stocks
It might be terrifying to think of stocks as one of the ways to earn money in Dubai, but with a small amount of money, anyone can own equity in a company – and thus a share of its profits.
“Dividend stocks” are the stocks of companies that pay money to shareholders every quarter; those payments are called dividends.
The dividend yield on dividend stocks can range from 1% to 5% per stock, depending on the company. The more shares you have, the more dividends you can get.
It’s OK if you don’t know about dividend stocks, you can always find a professional stock trader or wealth advisor to guide you, and there are many platforms in Dubai, such as Sarwa. Make informative and well-thought decisions based on an expert’s advice.
8. Create a YouTube channel
Youtubers are everywhere; it feels like everyone with a camera or mobile phone is starting a channel. Youtube is one of the most practical platforms to generate a passive income in Dubai. The platform pays content creators per view after they have reached a specific threshold.
The key is to build a following by uploading videos on topics that people find interesting or helpful. These topics can range from fashion, education, health and wellness, beauty, self development, etc.
Being in Dubai provides opportunities for unique content to cover topics such as entertainment facilities, celebrities, and multicultural communities.
Don't hesitate to start today if you have a creative idea for a YouTube channel. You can always use Airbnb to rent a suitable apartment if you need a beautiful and comfortable place to shoot your videos.
9. Cook homemade dishes
Dubai and the other emirates are appropriate destinations for starting a new life, getting a better opportunity, or having a nice vacation. And people that move and live here all share the excitement of exploring new things, of which food is on top of the list.
Cooking skills can be a delicious way to earn extra money in Dubai. For a start, prepare some traditional dishes and desserts on the weekend or in spare time and sell them in the neighbourhood.
Moreover, cooperating with local restaurants and bakeries can be a step toward expanding the business if people like your food.
Just keep in mind that you will need to register for a food trading licence to start working on any such gig in the UAE.
Expats usually miss their national dishes after a while in Dubai because it reminds them of home. For example, Indians would miss homemade Indian food, as do the Chinese, Russians, and others. It’s an excellent strategy to prepare your national dishes and promote them on your social media accounts to let everyone know about them. You’ll soon have more people ordering if you’re a good cook.
10. Become a typist
Typing is a fast way to make extra income in Dubai from home, and it requires typing skills that you can easily learn online on your own. You can earn money from typing printed documents, books, or digital audio files, a task known as transcription. Typing is well known for being a profitable freelance or part-type job.
According to Indeed, the world-famous international jobs portal, the average payment for a typist is AED 65.25 per hour. If you doubt your typing skills, you can exercise and improve your knowledge by taking an online course. Many free and paid online typing courses will lead you to your new career as a typist.
11. Sell used items online
Used items can be a quick trick to make extra money from home—for example, old clothes and second hand electronics. Things you think are outdated can be convenient for others. You have nothing significant to lose, so why not give it a try?
There are many portals online to help sell those second-hand items in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. All you need is to spend some time researching the most appropriate platform that corresponds to what you have to sell. Use your mobile phone camera to take good-quality photos of those items, and people will start reaching out to place orders.
If you don't know how much you should price your items, check out the prices of similar new items on Amazon and provide a decent discount.
12. Handyman services
Technical expertise in any field can be a good side hustle in Dubai, especially for technicians. Individuals, homeowners, and small businesses often need the help of an experienced technician for ad-hoc maintenance issues.
Provide professional services, and if possible, don’t request the attendance of clients. People in Dubai like being served quickly without having to supervise the work. Although such activity may require a permit, it is worth it, especially for those who prove their skills and get good feedback. These positive feedbacks will boost referrals and make your side hustle job flourish in no time.
According to Indeed, the international job portal, a technician in Dubai can earn as much as AED 59.93 an hour. You can print some flyers and distribute them in local markets to small shops, or you can promote your services online to spread the word about your skills.
13. Fill in online surveys
Finding a side job to make extra money in Dubai can be challenging for some people. But some jobs don’t require special skills and can be done while in bed!
One of the easiest ways to earn money is by filling out online surveys. Yes, that’s right, answering some questions on a laptop or mobile phone while lying on a bed or sofa will get you paid. Many companies run online surveys, and to encourage people to participate, and they can offer good money in return.
When it comes to filling out online surveys, many factors control how much money you’ll get in return. Still, in general, according to DollarSprout, the passive income dedicated platform, you can make an average of between $0.50 and $3 for 10 to 20 minutes of work.
14. Become a freelance writer
Freelance writing is a popular side job in Dubai.
Writing requires the acquisition of good knowledge about writing styles, research, and how to address your audience. Working as a freelance writer can help generate a lot of income, especially if it’s done alongside a steady job.
Content writers provide all types of writing services: articles, blogs, social media, etc.; and clients can vary in industry and needs. Additionally, specialized writers can provide advanced services such as proofreading and editing. Furthermore, getting experience in freelance writing makes it possible to expand and reach clients outside of Dubai.
A main challenge with getting extra money from writing is international transfers. While plenty of money transfer service providers function in Dubai, Hubpay provides free and easy international money transfer services. The sender sends the money in AED, and the recipient instantly receives it anywhere in the world in the country’s currency. Moreover, it provides multiple additional services such as bill payments. Hubpay app is available for free for Android and IOS.
15. Work as a virtual assistant
For those with good administrative skills, working as a virtual assistant is a great side hustle in Dubai. With tight daily schedules, entrepreneurs worldwide and in Dubai seek help from a skilled assistant to manage their administrative work such as sorting out emails, running their websites, preparing reports, and scheduling appointments.
If your daytime job makes it impossible to work as a virtual assistant for someone in Dubai, you can look for a foreign company from a different time zone and work with them remotely to make money online. For example, a company that functions within Eastern Standard Hours makes it easy for you to do the work in the evening hours in Dubai.
16. Prepare an online course
Online learning is a vast industry, with thousands of online courses for almost everything – from doing simple tasks to starting a new business.
Preparing a course requires expertise around the topic of interest, and people can pay good money to get the expert knowledge you offer.
Although creating an entire course about the area of expertise requires time and effort, you only have to do it once. When published on websites like Udemy, it could generate a reasonable passive income in Dubai.
17. Test websites for money
This is another easy way to make extra money in Dubai. It only requires a stable internet connection and a laptop (and sometimes a mobile phone is enough). Companies are always curious about testing customer experience on their websites and update their sites continuously to ensure they are flawless. Thus, they are usually willing to pay an hourly rate for people to test their websites and provide valuable feedback.
As you start testing websites for money, there is room for expansion. You can sharpen your skills and learn about becoming a QA analyst. Building a new career path isn’t impossible if you have the fundamental technical skills.
18. Play online games
Online gaming has become a new trend over the last several years, and those games have developed to cover almost every aspect of life – from football and basketball to action and horror games. The surprising fact is that playing some games can generate money.
Although you might think online gaming is not one of the most profitable side jobs in Dubai, some people play games to reach high levels, then sell their access to other users, and sometimes, online games launch contests and offer cash prizes in return. With such an opportunity in Dubai, spare time can be enjoyed and monetized at the same time.
19. Offer to transcribe audio-to-text
Transcribing requires good listening skills such as attention to detail and quick typing capability. Transcriptionists listen to recorded audios or videos and type out the text. It might sometimes get tough with bad recording, but with persistence and practice, this won’t be a problem.
Also, this side hustle provides a significant income, and the work can be done as a freelance or by signing up to specialized websites that work as middlemen providing the job for a commission.
Although AI platforms offer instant transcribing services nowadays, many conversations from influences, for example, include accents and can’t use those platforms because their English can’t be interpreted correctly 100% of the time. Therefore, they use the services of human transcriptionists to get accurate results for their podcasts or YouTube episodes.
So if you are looking for how to make extra money in the UAE, transcribing can be a low hanging fruit to start from.
20. Part-time delivery agent
Home delivery is a growing market as people tend to get everything delivered to their doorstep. Therefore, there is a high demand for part-time delivery agents in Dubai. Also, this side hustle generates extra money, depending on how many deliveries you can fulfil in your free time.
Almost everyone in Dubai is bilingual, and it's an advantage that can be monetised.
Writing skills in at least two languages are enough to create a freelance translation job. The income depends on the quality of the delivered translation, which you can improve through practice and training.
This job usually doesn’t require a particular degree, making it an excellent way to earn extra income in Dubai. With the presence of the internet, working from home is a possibility. Many organizations and companies offer online freelance translation opportunities that only require passing a simple test.
Translation helps you develop your second language over time. You can start by offering your services for low prices and later raise your fees when you become experienced in the field. You can charge clients up to AED 88.79 per hour if you have good skills.
22. Work as a part-time tourist guide
Dubai is full of various cultures, landscapes, and entertainment venues, making it a popular destination for millions of tourists worldwide. So, unsurprisingly, helping those tourists can be one of the best ways to earn money in Dubai.
This side job needs a licence in Dubai, but it is worth the effort. Also, it’s not enough to know where to get the best burger in the city; comprehensive knowledge of Dubai is required to offer best-in-class tourist guidance.
That being said, touring around, having fun, and enjoying the scenery of Dubai could be one of the best jobs for extra income.
23. Teaching kids or babysitting
Dubai is a land of many languages thanks to its unique mix of residents from all around the world. Skills in a particular language provides an opportunity to earn extra money by helping children of clients with homework and the improvement of their language abilities.
Additionally, babysitting is also a profitable job in Dubai. You can start with the local community and neighbours who need a babysitter for a night out on the weekend, and who may value you speaking your language to their children. Having a good time and making the kids enjoy your company boosts word of mouth referrals and you can turn it into a regular side hustle to gain some extra money in Dubai.
24. Create professional resumes
Dubai is attracting job seekers from all around the world, and every work opportunity will require a good resume to apply. Many job seekers don’t know how to create a resume making the “resume business” in significant demand.
With some experience in the Dubai market, building quality resumes won’t be a problem. Moreover, you can utilise online templates that are available for free (or at affordable prices) and combine that with your knowledge of Dubai’s hiring preferences to produce quality work.
[Do you want a more cost-effective way to send money abroad as you earn extra money from your side hustles? Download the Hubpay app for free on Apple or Google Play stores to enjoy low-cost international money transfers.]
25. Sell goods at the Flea Market
The Flea Market is the largest second-hand market in town and has been running in Dubai for 12 years.
The market operates a few times each month in different city areas, and its purpose is to help participants turn their used belongings into cash. Any second-hand items such as clothes, toys, furniture, etc., can be sold there; after all, what you think is worthless could be valuable to another person.
So, instead of throwing stuff away, consider offering them for sale.
To sell goods at the Flea Market, you must book a table by paying fees on the official Dubai Flea Market website. Registration doesn't require a trade licence or permit.
The Flea Market is always crowded with people looking for a good deal, making it an excellent opportunity to return quickly and get those fees back with some extra money.
Check your belongings, list what you can sell, ask your friends for second-hand items they want to sell in exchange for a commission, then quickly calculate how much you can earn from participating in the Flea Market.
If the financials are promising, don't hesitate to sell in the Flea Market, as it could be one of Dubai's most profitable side hustles.
Living in a big city like Dubai is expensive, and finding a new way to make extra money can be very helpful.
If you are wondering how to have extra income in Dubai, never underestimate the benefits of side hustles and how they can improve your financial situation.
Although some side hustles in Dubai require specific skills, many profitable opportunities don't need previous experience.
Start small today, promote your services in local communities, and later expand your services to earn more income.
Utilize online platforms to find a suitable side hustle and spread the word about your services locally for a reasonable budget.