How to Apply UAE Influencer License in Dubai

The world has entered a new digital era, and it seems that everyone is glued to their phones, tapping away at stuff. Thanks to smartphones, anyone, at any time, may produce, distribute, and consume media.

Also Read: 5 Social Media Rules: Using Social Media in the UAE

 “Influencers,” have capitalized on this new era of immediate media consumption by selling their original works, but with commercialization comes regulation. It is for this reason that the National Media Council (NMC) of the United Arab Emirates created the influencer license. We’ve got you covered if you’re a Dubai-based influencer wondering if you need this license.

How to get your influencer license:

Getting your trade license is the first step toward establishing yourself as a legitimate influencer. Either the Dubai Department of Economic Development or one of the UAE’s several free zones will accept your application.

Establishing a tax haven could save you a lot of money. To name just a few of the many advantages offered by free zones like Fujairah Creative City, incorporating a business there is quick and simple, and businesses receive ongoing support and financial incentives including tax exemptions and zero currency limitations.

If you already have a work visa for the United Arab Emirates, you can apply for an influencer license there as well. This is available in a variety of UAE free zones and typically costs less than full trading permissions.

Choosing a company name is the next step after deciding to apply for a business license and establish a corporation. In the United Arab Emirates, this requires some additional planning. Why? This is due to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) straightforward naming standards. A business formation specialist can assist you ensure compliance.

As a general rule, you should not use any words that could be considered blasphemous or disrespectful. If you’re going to name your company after yourself, go with something like “Carl Mazz Consulting” instead of “C. Mazz Consulting” to avoid confusion with other companies. It is your responsibility to ensure that the name you want to register is available. You can skip this step if you plan on operating under your own name as a sole proprietor.

Requirements to apply as a social media influencer in Dubai

To complete the process, you must submit an application to the NMC for an influencer license. You can apply for a trade license, Emirates ID, visa, and influencer license on the NMC’s website or with the help of a company formation expert.

You should check the application requirements to make sure you qualify before submitting it. 

  • Someone from the United Arab Emirates or GCC
  • Respected and well-known
  • Inactive in the NMC at the present time
  • Over 25 years old

You must submit the following to the NMC as part of your application:

  • A photocopy of an Emirates ID
  • Title deed or tenancy agreement that has been recorded
  • Facsimile of Business Permit

Due to the fact that the social media influencer license in Dubai is an electronic license, the full application process can be completed in less than 15 minutes.

How much does the influencer license cost?

The process of getting an influencer license in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be expensive. Still, that doesn’t mean the price of the license is unattainable.

For instance, in the Fujairah Creative City Free Zone, a media trade license can be obtained for just AED 18,000. This fee covers the cost of two visas. The price only goes up to AED 21,675 if you want to utilize the free zone’s shared office space.

In 2018, the National Media Council (NMC) in the United Arab Emirates made it essential for anyone to obtain an E-Media license from the NMC before engaging in any sort of online advertising, news distribution, brand promotion, or the like, regardless of whether the activity is for compensation. There is an annual renewal charge of AED 2775 for the NMC.

There are three distinct methods to get an NMC license:

One thing is certain: influencers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will now require a license to lawfully operate. There are now three types of licenses available from the NMC for influential people in the United Arab Emirates.

In short, there is a licensing choice that should suit you whether you are already making thousands of dirhams from sponsored posts or are just getting started.

The available licenses are detailed below:

Category One

If an influencer wants to keep their autonomy, they can apply for a “individual license.” This license will set you back Dhs15,000, and influencers will need a second trade license on top of it.

Category two

The second choice is a permission for collaboration between influential parties (typically of friends or family). These key opinion leaders can band together to form a corporation and then apply to the NMC for a unique e-media license. The business entity must be legally recognized and licensed to operate. To pay the cost of Dhs15,000.

Category three

If an influencer wants to join an NMC-approved influencer agency, they can do so using services like ITP Live.

A single license covering all of the agency’s board members will be held by them. Anyone who wishes to work as an influencer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must first register with an agency that has been approved by the NMC.

Only one agency can represent an influencer, and all (paid) business must go through that agency.

Tips for aspiring social media influencers in Dubai:

1. Learn the fundamentals of United Arab Emirates (UAE) media law

If you are a content creator on social media and want to make it your profession, you should familiarize yourself with the rules that govern media in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Every Influencer worth their salt should study the local laws of the United Arab Emirates, especially those that pertain to photography, libel, and privacy.

Taking a picture of someone without their permission is a clear violation of the law. This could be a problem for street style bloggers who frequently post photos of other people wearing their creations.

If you make defamatory comments about another person, their family, or their business, you could face serious legal consequences. Bloggers critiquing local restaurants should use caution when writing negative reviews.

To add, secrecy is highly valued in the UAE. It’s against the law to reveal confidential information without the owner’s permission.

2. Be mindful about cultural sensitivities

Due to the cultural sensitivities of the UAE, content that is considered acceptable in other countries may be prohibited here.

Al Tamimi & Co. reports that under UAE Cyber Crimes Law, violating public morality and good conduct is a crime. Content that is “un-Islamic,” “blasphemous,” “lewd,” “encouraging sinful behaviour,” “aimed at corrupting youngsters,” etc., falls under this category. Content that “stirs sedition or sectarianism, mocks the leaders of the nation, or that affects national unity or social harmony,” as stated by Anita Siassios in an essay published on the company’s website, falls under this category as well.

This means that influential people shouldn’t share anything on their social media platforms that could be construed as divisive, such as posts about religious figures, political figures, or “hot subjects.”