Answered on October 22,2023
In 2018 the UAE’s government announced a new law that regulated the social media influencer industry. Anyone who participates in paid promotional work on social media now must apply for a license from the National Media Council.
The rules apply to social media influencers who are paid for their work in cash or gifts of an equivalent value. To get the NMC permit, you need to apply for what is known as an E-Media License. People who occasionally receive products to review on social media or produce content on their website don’t usually need to apply for a license.
As well as applying for a license, you must comply with a number of rules, including:
- Maintaining a record of all materials you’ve promoted on social media
- Complying with laws around photography, defamation and privacy
- Avoiding any blasphemous statements
- Not using language or messaging that is anti-Islamic, encourages sinful activity or that could corrupt minors
- Not sharing messages that mock the leaders of the nation or that disturb the peace
- Social media influencers must not appear to promote alcohol in any way
What is an NMC License?
The National Media Council (NMC) license for social media influencers was first introduced in 2018. The license is designed to regulate the social media influencer industry. The National Media council falls under Media Regulatory Office – Ministry of Culture and Youth. It is mandatory for anyone who receives financial compensation through their work, including advertising, reviews, or ‘product placement’ in their content.
The NMC license does not apply to the owners of personal websites, bloggers, or people who promote their brands on social media. It also doesn’t apply to people who do unpaid reviews of products (assuming they are independent of the brand they’re reviewing and receive no remuneration).
NMC licenses initially last one year and must be renewed annually. There are three licensing options for the NMC license, as follows:
Category 1 NMC License
Category 1 licenses are for influencers who want an individual license that will allow them to continue working as completely independent social media influencers.
Category 2 NMC License
This kind of social media license covers small groups of influencers who want to come together and set up a company. The company needs to be registered and will have to hold a trade license. This approach has the advantage of being less expensive than Category 1 licenses.
Category 3 NMC License
The third NMC license option is for you to sign up with one of the official Dubai social media influencer agencies already certified by the National Media Council. These agencies have a license covering all their influencers, and they will cover you. The drawback, of course, is that you may have less control over what content you promote.
If you are found to be working as a social media influencer without holding an NMC license, you may face a fine of AED 5,000 and could even have your social media accounts suspended.
Cost and Documents Required for an NMC License
The Dubai NMC license permits cost AED 15,000 and must be renewed annually. Besides the license cost, you will also need to set up your business and account for various other expenses.
The exact sum will depend on the kind of NMC license you apply for, the type of business you decide to run, and your location. At Meydan Free Zone, the complete social media influencer license setup typically costs as little as AED 12,500, plus the NMC license costs mentioned above. The rest of the costs depends on your requirements for the number of visas for your business.
The Media Regulatory Office – Ministry of Culture and Youth now oversees the National Media Council. To apply for your NMC license, you will also need to bring together several documents, including:
- Your business license
- A copy of your visa
- Copies of your passport
- Emirates ID photocopy
- You will need to choose an address such as a free zone to set up your company.
Can an Influencer Use a Free Zone License and Consult Globally?
Yes, absolutely! Suppose you work as a social media influencer company in a Dubai free zone such as Meydan Free Zone. In that case, you can consult globally with customers within the United Arab Emirates and anywhere else in the world. At Meydan Free Zone, we can support you with all aspects of setting up your influencer business in Dubai and provide help with all commercial aspects of running your business online.
The Meydan Free Zone does not offer a freelance license to influencers or a freelance visa.
Meydan Free Zone Steps
To receive your free zone license and set up as a social media influencer company in Dubai, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Gather together the necessary documentation
- Submit your application on our website
- Undergo security and government approvals
- Have your license issued and begin working as a social media influencer in Dubai!
Hey , can you help?
Answer this question
Complete Guide on Trade License in DubaiTrade license is required for practicing business activities legally in the emirate. Types of Trade Licenses in Dubai Normal License: It requires the existence of a Mem..
Click here to get a detailed guide
Business Activities List in UAEWhile creating a company in UAE, you need to specify the business activity. There are more than 2,000 business activities to choose from in the UAE. Business Activities in UAE ..
Click here to get a detailed guide