Here’s why you need a UAE influencer licence, and how you can get yours
23 May 2018| Last updated on 13 November 2018
Any social media influencer in the UAE who makes money from promoting brands and businesses must have a media licence under new regulations.
The addition to the UAE’s law comes after an announcement earlier in 2018 from the National Media Council, who are working to help professionalise and regulate the UAE’s influencer industry.
Influencers living in Dubai and UAE must ensure they have two licences in place in order to accept payment
The country’s influences will require a trade licence – which may vary in price - and the new e-media licence. The new UAE e-media licence costs AED 15,000 per annum.
Suffice to say, the world of social media influencing led by the UAE’s top influencers should be a lot more transparent now.
Here’s everything you need to know about obtaining a UAE influencer licence:
Who needs a UAE influencer licence
The law applies to UAE residents and influencers who operate in the UAE, and to all social influencers who use their social media channels to promote and/or sell products, and those who endorse brands and companies in the UAE for payment.
Do I need an e-media licence for accepting goods, without payment?
Yes. Influencers who also accept unpaid forms or presentation and/or promotion of ideas, goods, or services by electronic means, or network applications require an influencer licence. This includes items, services and experiences an influencer may obtain for free from brands, i.e. ‘gifts’.
What do influencers need to do once they have a licence?
It is the responsibility of the owner of the social media account to ensure they have the correct licence in place for their social influencing activities, and they should provide that licence when working with a company or brand.
- Clarify content that is sponsored and/or paid vs. editorial content on their social channels
- Influencers should put #ad or #sponsored somewhere within the posts, that their audience can easily view
- Meaning, the social media account holder shouldn’t just hide these tags in comments
- Extra care about claims made regarding healthcare and wellness products should be taken
- Influencers taking sponsored or paid brand deals regarding detox teas, skincare etc. need to be extra careful due to UAE’s laws
- All influencers should have the required e-media licence by June 2018, or risk closure of their accounts by authorities
How much is a UAE influencer licence?
The e-media licence from the National Media Council costs AED 15,000 per year. Meaning, influencers should renew their licence every year for the same cost. The cost of this licence applies to social accounts specialised for online advertising electronically.
How to get your UAE influencer licence
- 1. First, make sure you have the correct trade licence relevant to your profession, you can head to the Government of Dubai’s website for this – check out their new instant licence!
- 2. Next, head to the National Media Council website.
- 3. Influencers wishing to obtain a UAE e-media licence must be a citizen of the UAE or of one of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
- 4. Influencers must be aged 25 years or more.
- 5. Be of a good reputation, and not sentenced to a crime of dishonesty or honesty, unless rehabilitated or pardoned by the competent authorities.
- 6. Scheduled to be paid for the entire duration of the licence fee.
- 7. Applicants must personally complete the application procedures, or officially delegate the task to someone with a notarised memo.
- 8. You will need a photocopy of your Emirates ID, a registered tenancy contract or title deed, and a photocopy of your trade licence.
Applications for a UAE e-media licence can take up to 15 minutes online, from beginning the online application to receiving the media licence receipt.
How will UAE influencers be regulated?
The National Media Council will be the authority that will police influencers in the UAE. Most likely, they’ll respond to complaints made against a particular individual. Influencers are likely to be called out by others affected by their actions.