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New Licensing Requirements for Social Media Influencers in Abu Dhabi

Here’s a look at Abu Dhabi’s new licence for influencers

Social media influencers working in Abu Dhabi must now get licences to do business within the UAE, a new law from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) states.

These latest regulations must be complied with in order for content creators and influencers to participate in digital and social media advertising projects. At the same time, companies who plan to engage social media personalities should also apply for the appropriate licences before they start a contract with influencers.

ADDED started enacting these rules last July 1, so anyone looking to take part in online campaigns should get themselves updated on the law.

Who needs a license?

Licenses are mandatory for:

  • Individual social media influencers operating in Abu Dhabi.
  • Groups or collectives of influencers working together under a registered company.
  • Businesses that engage influencers for promotional activities.

Inside Abu Dhabi’s social media influencer law

An Influencer Licence is necessary for individuals or groups who deal with the promotion of brands or products on digital platforms. It offers the main benefit of allowing the licence holder to legally engage in online advertising projects, while keeping them safe from any fines or regulatory violations. Protection against these fines are important, since non-compliance fees can range from AED 3,000 up to AED 10,000. Meanwhile, companies who do not get the proper licences can even face complete business closure.

Having to apply for another new requirement may seem like a lot of work, but ADDED has made it simple enough to get one. Interested applicants may send their forms in via the Abu Dhabi government website Tamm.

In addition, influencers and other entities who participate in digital advertising should also have a permit from the UAE Media Council. This document guarantees compliance with both national and local media guidelines.

What the new law means for digital advertising

With these new regulations in place, social media and other digital platforms should be a more transparent place, while the businesses behind the activities should also be more secure. After all, Abu Dhabi decided to enact the law in order to better regulate digital advertising and maintain high standards for any work done in the online space.

A strictly implemented law means that more influencers will work with transparency and accountability in mind, while also being paid appropriately and being given the proper legal protection. It also means that more businesses will feel secure that they’re working with compliant and legitimate content creators who will get the necessary work accomplished based on their contracts.

This important move cements Abu Dhabi as one of several emirates that are putting stronger social media laws into practice. Previously, Dubai also started requiring a Freelance Trade License for its influencers, supplementing the UAE Media Council licence that all creators across the country must have. Ras Al Khaimah has its own requirement via an annual social media license that already comes with the UAE Media Council permit, while Ajman offers various licence options for individuals and companies. All of this solidifies the UAE’s steadfast commitment to fostering a legally compliant and transparent landscape for anyone who makes a living in its dynamic business environment.

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