500 UAE-based social media influencers register with NMC in three months

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
Filed on September 5, 2018


The license is mandatory for them to levy service charge for advertising brands on their accounts.

More than 500 social media influencers have registered with the National Media Council (NMC) over the past three months and obtained licence to operate.
The license is mandatory for them to levy service charge for advertising brands on their accounts.
An official from NMC told Khaleej Times that it has also registered 700 online media sites and agencies since June when the new rules required news websites and electronic publishing outlets to register and get operational licenses.
The new rules require influencers and online media sites to obtain an e-media licence, with a starting price of Dh15,000 and a trade licence, which varies in cost depending on free zone or mainland category, according to the NMC.
The NMC had in March issued new rules that require news websites, electronic publishing outlets, and on-demand printing, including commercial activities conducted through social media within the UAE to first get a media licence from the NMC, allowing them to operate in the country.
The new regulations apply to all electronic media activities carried out within the UAE, including those in free zones.
There has been an increase in the number of social media influencers in the country over the recent years, with many using advantage of their big followers to promote brands for different firms for cash.
Dr Rashid Al Nuaimi, executive director of media affairs at the NMC, said: "The electronic media has become a highly influential and widespread tool and it was imperative for government to enhance its reliability."
"The new regulations were intended to help the UAE media sector remain on top of the rapid developments in electronic media. It also aims at enriching and organising digital content, and ensuring that media material respects the religious, cultural and social values of the UAE, all the while promoting freedom of expression and constructive dialogue."
According to Al Nuaimi, the new rules apply to only social media influencers who use their blogs, pages or accounts for advertising and promoting brands for money.
"It is good thing many social media influencers have complied with the rules by registering for licences," he said.
"All social media influencers making advertisements and promoting brands for cash are required to have a trade licence before registering with the NMC for an e-media licence."
Officials have warned that individuals or establishments caught violating the media law will be slapped with fines of up to Dh5,000 or have their online websites or social media accounts shut down.
Authorities earlier said that digital media was one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Middle East, especially videos, games and e-books and that regulating this sector would attract new global investments, which, in turn, will improve its development and competitiveness.

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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