The digital industry has been growing in popularity in Dubai. It is now deemed the hub for influencers and businesses.
As per Global Media Insights’ report, there were 10.73 million social media users in the UAE in 2023, which equals 99% of the country’s population. Every 3 out of 4 residents follow social media influencers and look up to them for entertainment and purchasing inspiration.
The influencer marketing market in the Middle East is expected to reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2023. Another research says that influencers with 10,000 followers publishing one paid post a day can have monthly earnings equal to the salary of a mid-level marketing professional. This presents a great opportunity for influencers and content creators in Dubai.
However, every social media influencer who does paid promotion or content creation must obtain an influencer license in Dubai. The license is essential if the influencers make money by reviews, advertising, or product placements in their content.
This article discusses what an influencer license is, why it is required, and how to acquire it.
Why You Must Have an Influencer Permit: Key Insights
In 2018, the UAE’s government imposed regulations on the influencer industry by introducing a new influencer license in Dubai called E-Media License. Social media influencers who get paid for their content must apply for this license from the National Media Council (NMC).
The regulations apply to influencers using social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. The laws are also applicable to vloggers and bloggers doing paid promotions in their work. The paid work may include product promotion, product placement, or product reviews.
Influencers must also comply with the regulations, such as not using false language or promoting alcoholic beverages in any way.
On another note, the E-Media License is not mandatory for the owners of personal websites, bloggers, and people who advertise their own brands on different platforms. It is also not applicable to the people who do unpaid reviews of products, as long as they are not associated with the brand and do not get paid.
The social media influencer license in Dubai is only valid for one year and must be renewed annually. It costs AED 15,000 for a year. To obtain an influencer license in Dubai, you must apply to the NMC, which now falls under the Media Regulatory Office – Ministry of Culture and Youth.
Requirements to Acquire the Influencer License
Document Required for Social Media Influencer License in the UAE
To apply for an influencer license in Dubai, the following documents are required –
- Passport copies
- Copy of visa
- Emirates ID photocopy
- Business License
- 2 colored passport-size photos
To obtain an E-Media License, you can visit the website of NMC and apply online. In case you decide to partner with an NMC-certified influencer agency, you do not need to worry about the license costs.
Steps to Obtain a Social Media Influencer License in Dubai
The process to obtain the NMC license is as follows –
- An address such as a free zone for company incorporation
- Submit application
- Submit all required documents to the respective authorities
- Complete the payment
Cost to Obtain an Influencer License
The cost of obtaining an influencer license in Dubai depends on the license category, type of business, and location. The cost of an NMC license permit in Dubai is AED 15,000. However, the total cost can vary depending on multiple factors, as mentioned before.
A social media influencer applying for an individual license must also apply for a trade license. This could bring the expected yearly costs to AED 14,500. The license cost also varies depending on the jurisdiction. For instance, in Sharjah, the NMC license costs just AED 5,700.
Hence, the total cost of obtaining an influencer license in Dubai and running a business can go from AED 20,000 to AED 30,000 if you are not associated with any registered influencer agencies.
Laws for the Influencer License
Any influencer applying for an influencer license in Dubai must comply with the following laws –
- Must not appear to endorse alcohol in any way
- Must follow laws about taking photos, defamation, and not invading someone’s privacy
- Must keep a record of all the products promoted by them
- Must avoid sharing a message that mocks the leaders or disturbs the peace in any way
- Must refrain from using language or message that is anti-Islamic, encourages sinful activity, or could corrupt minors
- Must not make any blasphemous comments in any way
A fine of AED 5,000 will be imposed on a social media influencer who is found to be doing paid work without a social media influencer license in Dubai. In severe cases, the social media accounts will also get suspended.
Available Options for UAE Influencer License
Influencers in Dubai can opt for three licensing options.
Category 1 (Individual)
Social media influencers who want to work independently as solo influencers can apply for the Category 1 NMC license.
Category 2 (Partnership)
This license is applicable to a group of influencers who want to set up a small company. They would also need to apply for a trade license and register their business. However, it is a more cost-effective option than a Category 1 social media influencer license.
Category 3 (Agency)
This license is offered to influencers who have signed a contract with influencer agencies already registered with NMC. However, in this license, influencers have less control over the type of content they create.
Get your influencer license in the UAE with Avyanco Business Setup
If you are an influencer making money through your posts and want to comply with current regulations, you must apply for an influencer license in Dubai and the UAE.
To ensure that you obtain the license without any hassle, you can connect with Avyanco Business setup experts to get proper guidance.
Avyanco has years of experience working as a Business Setup company in Dubai. Our company setup experts have a wide range of skills and can help you obtain a social media influencer license quickly.
They will help you navigate through various license categories to choose the one that fits best for you. We will also help you through the entire process, from getting you registered with a free zone to receiving the influencer license.
Connect with us to get an NMC permit and continue working as an influencer in Dubai while complying with all laws and regulations.
To contact our business consultant, you can call us at +971 04 240 5000 or send a WhatsApp message at +971 50 398 9000 for a prompt response to your query. Also, we are available on Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.