Without the licence, influencers face fines of up to Dhs5000…

The UAE’s National Media Council has warned influencers they must obtain a licence within two weeks, or risk having their social media accounts shut down under new electronic media rules.

The regulations were announced in March, and apply to those who make money from promoting brands and businesses online.

According to The National, influencers will need to have a trade licence before they can apply for the new e-media licence. The e-media licence will cost Dhs15,000, while the trade licence fee varies.

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The National Media Council recently held a workshop in Abu Dhabi to explain the new measures, and said they had been enacted “as a response to the rapid growth and spread of electronic media”.

“The aim of the regulations is to enhance competitiveness, increase reliability and support the provision of balanced, responsible and impartial media content that respects the privacy of individuals and protects society’s various segments from negative influences,” said Dr Rashid Al Nuaimi, the council’s executive director of media affairs.

He added personal accounts and blogs were not subject to the new regulations so long as they were not commercial in nature.

Influencers have been given until the end of May to apply for the e-media licence via the National Media Council website.

Those who fail to comply face fines of up to Dhs5000, as well as the closure of their website or account.

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