The move is set to regulate the e-commerce and publishing industry…

If your Instagram feed is filled with social media stars promoting everything from make up and fashion to resorts and vacations to their legions of fans, that could be set to change.

The UAE’s National Media Council (NMC) has announced a new set of rules for electronic media, which will mean social media influencers who make money from promoting brands and businesses will need to secure a media licence. The licence will be similar to those acquired by newspapers and magazines.

NMC director general Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri explained: “The new regulations are part of the Council’s plan to promote and develop an advanced legislative and regulatory environment for the UAE media sector.”

Anyone involved in electronic media commercial activities will need to register and have a licence before the end of June, according to The National.

Penalties for failing to do so include fines up to Dh5,000, verbal or official warning, and/or closure of the website or account, the same report reads.

As well as regulating social media within the UAE, the new law will also create opportunities for global companies who sell media content online that operate from abroad to acquire a licence and open branch offices in the UAE.

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