Starting Your Transcription Service in UAE

There’s a distinct lack of high quality transcription services in UAE and if you think you can address this problem, you might be considering setting up a transcription service in UAE.

A transcription company is a service that offers high quality audio transcriptions for businesses and individuals for an affordable price.  If you plan on offering a transcription service in UAE you’ll need to either set up a company or operate as a freelancer.

Identifying Your Skills

If the idea of transcription is something that sounds like it might be your cup of tea, you first need to identify the skills required.

  1. You must be able to type at a sufficiently fast speed.  Most transcription services will recommend 70WPM (words per minute) but ideally you should be aiming to have a minimum of 80WPM.  If you do not know your typing speed, you can find it easily online using tools like 10 Fast Fingers.
  2. You must be accurate while typing at high speeds.  There’s no use being able to type incredibly quickly if you are constantly making mistakes.  It’s better to type at 80WPM with 99% accuracy than 120WPM with 70% accuracy.  Again, 10 Fast Fingers can also tell you your accuracy.
  3. You must have a very high grasp on English spelling.  This means you must be able to spell most words correctly on the first try, if you have to stop every few minutes to check how to spell a word it’s going to take you a lot longer to perform transcriptions.
  4. You must be confident and able to use proper English grammar.  While performing Intelligent Verbatim transcriptions you’re going to have to, ‘edit-on-the-fly,’ and correct the speaker’s grammar.

If at this point you’re feeling discouraged, don’t worry, all of the above can be improved with time and practice.

Preparing Your Equipment

An important part of any transcription service in UAE (or anywhere, frankly) is the equipment.  It’s not as easy as some people think, you don’t just play an audio file using any old software.  You need certain functions that are only achievable through specific software options.

Ideally, you’re going to need two things and an optional third that will benefit you.

  1. Decent Quality Headphones.  This is probably one thing that most people forget about.  As mentioned in Top 5 Transcription Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) one of the worst things you can do is use low-quality headphones.  Invest in a pair of proper good quality over-the-ear headphones with noise cancellation (you don’t want to be distracted by outside noises).
  2. Transcription Software.  You’re going to need something to load your audio file into before you can begin to transcribe it.  Our favourite choice at the moment is Express Scribe by NCH.  With proper transcription software you can set hotkeys which will allow you to easily control the audio.  Stop, rewind for 5 seconds and resume with the touch of a button.
  3. (Optional) A foot pedal.  This can be a useful addition but is not necessary.  You can assign hotkeys to the foot pedal which allows you to pause, rewind and resume the audio without having to rely on a finger-operated hotkey.  It saves a lot of time to be able to tap your foot instead of taking your hands away from typing.

transcription service in UAE

Transcribe in the future, use software!

This section can sometimes be a bit expensive but the return on investment should make it worth it.

Building Your Business Model

Every transcription company runs slightly differently but most will have the same common themes.

You need to address your services offered, pricing and turn-around-time structure.

Your Services Offered

You should start by offering the two staples of every single transcription service, Intelligent Verbatim and Full Verbatim.  If you do not know what these two terms mean you can refer to Intelligent Verbatim versus Full Verbatim for a helpful guide.

The majority of your customer base will be divided between these two formats so familiarise yourself with them.


You need to make sure you are offering a fair price to create an affordable transcription service in UAE.

We’ve wrote about How Much Does it Cost? Transcription Rates Per Audio Minute before so this might be a good place to start.  You don’t want to be too expensive but everybody knows you pay for quality.

transcription service in UAE

It’s going to cost HOW MUCH?!

Turn-around-time (Deadlines)

You should offer a variety of TATs for your customers so that you can cater to their needs.  If the customer needs a transcription back within 24 hours, you should offer a 24 hour service.  Just make sure you can keep up with the demand and that you are prepared to work hard in order to meet these deadlines.

A missed deadline is a death sentence for your reputation.

Getting Your Trade License

If you’re going to operate a transcription service in UAE, you’re going to need a trade license.  There are no two ways about this.  You can either set up a company within the UAE or you can set up within one of the 30+ freezones around the country.

The good thing about a Transcription Service is that most of the work can be done remotely, so you can set up in any freezone and work remotely.  You can get different kind of trade licenses, you can choose a freelance or a service license.

Operating in the UAE without a trade license of any kind is illegal.

An Alternative Solution

If you feel like transcription might be your calling but you don’t want to have to set up a trade license, you could always apply to work for a transcription company.  Usually, you’ll be able to work from home, on your own schedule and earn a decent sum of money doing so.

If you think becoming a transcriber might be something you’re interested in and you’d prefer to work for an existing transcription company, check out our Careers Page or email us at

transcription service in UAE

Enjoy the freedom.


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