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How to Get an Influencer License in Dubai, UAE

Amal Khadiri

Dubai is a great place to live and work as a social media influencer. As a global hub for trade, the emirate is blessed with fantastic weather, incredible natural beauty, and world-leading architecture (great for all those photos). It is also an amazing hub of design, technology, fashion, cosmetics, and jewellery. Working as a social media influencer in Dubai requires you to have a license from the National Media Council (NMC), so it is crucial to understand how to get an influencer license in Dubai.

Getting your social media influencer license in Dubai, UAE is worth it commercially and financially. Studies reveal that 85% of millennials in the UAE follow at least one social media influencer – showing there’s a real demand for people who can inform and entertain their followers. Another study found that influencers with 10,000 followers who posted just one item per day on Instagram could earn the same salary as a mid-level marketing professional in the UAE!

If you’re interested in becoming an influencer in Dubai, UAE, you will need an influencer license, and you should learn about some rules that apply to this business. In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about getting an influencer license in Dubai, including:

Here is everything you need to know about how to get an influencer license in Dubai, UAE.

What are the Laws in the UAE for Influencers?

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!

Inquire Now

Why Meydan Free Zone

Meydan Free Zone is a hub for digital businesses in the UAE. Located in central Dubai in a glamorous location close to the city’s golf course and horse racing track, it is ideal for social media influencers keen to generate unique content for their online activities. With high-powered internet, plenty of networking opportunities, and the essential equipment you need to run a social media-influencing business, it’s a great place to start your company.

Our friendly consultants can also support you with every stage of business setup in Dubai. In addition, we provide several additional services to make running your social media influencer business easier. For instance, Meydan Pay allows your customers from around the world to easily deposit funds into your bank account. At the same time, our Meydan Commerce service is designed to support you with all aspects of setting up an e-commerce business. And our Easy Payment Plans make applying for your trade license more manageable for a social media influencer just starting out.

If you are looking to set up a social media influencer company in Dubai, contact Meydan Free Zone today to turn your dream into reality.

The Meydan Free Zone does not offer a freelance license to influencers or a freelance visa.

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