UAE social media influencers now have three options when going legit

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Including joining an official influencer agency who can cover their licence costs

Last month we reported that social media influencers in the UAE would be required by law to register for a licence by June 1, or risk having their accounts shut down and face fines of up to Dhs5,000.

The National Media Council (NMC) had previously announced that all influencers who use their social media channels to promote and/or sell products would need to register for both a standard trade licence, and a new e-media licence at a cost of Dhs15,000.

The new law was put in place as a move to regulate the market, ensuring only influencers with enough viable income would be able to operate within the UAE.

Today, however, the NMC has opened up the law further, introducing two more licence tiers that offer flexibility for those looking to earn a living off their Instagram account.

His Excellency Dr Rashed Khalfan Alnuaimi, Executive Director of Support Services at the National Media Council, said: “It is primarily our intention to carefully regulate digital media and ensure that the best standards are provided which adhere to our established criteria.”

Here’s how the new licensing tiers break down:

Individual licence

Designed for the solo influencer looking to go it on their own. This tier costs Dhs15,000 and will require influencers to have a separate trade licence as well.

Partnership licence

Designed for smaller groups – typically of friends and family – who come together to set up a company to act as influencers. This will carry the same Dhs15,000 fee and will similarly require a valid trade licence.

Official Influencer Agencies

Only companies certified by the NMC will now be able to act as management agencies for influencers. The agency will hold a licence, which will cover all influencers as long as they are exclusively registered with that single company. This gives smaller social media stars, who might not be able to afford the individual or partnership licence fees, a viable alternative to continue their work.

Vamp, a joint venture with What’s On’s parent company Motivate Media Group, will be the first Official Influencer Agency allowed to cover influencers exclusively registered to the platform.

‘This is a significant step forward and an enlightened policy from the NMC recognising that all influencers do not fall in to the same category,’ said Motivate’s Managing Partner Ian
Fairservice.

In the UAE, Motivate-Vamp has over 400 influencers on its platform, all of whom are eligible to operate under the company’s new agency licence.

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