UAE-based influencers and creators will now need to obtain two different licences under new National Media Council regulations if they want to continue earning a living from their blogs, social media and YouTube channels.

According to The National influencers will need to obtain a trade licence before they can apply for their special e-media licence – the licence that will effectively allow them to post advertising and sponsored content on their channels.

The two licences will be mandatory for all influencers operating in the UAE, including influencers that accept free gifts and experiences in exchange for coverage on their channels.

“Note that this [trade licence] can be a freelancer visa, such as those provided by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority and twofour54,” said Fiona Robertson, a senior associate in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice with Al Tamimi & Co.

“A trade licence varies depending on the type, the authority and the location that is chosen. The e-media licence is set at AED15,000.”

The NMC has said that influencers will have until the first week of June to apply for their licence. Those that fail to comply with the new laws risk having their accounts shut down and being fined AED5,000.


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