Bloggers and influencers are not required to pay licensing fees, as long as they are registered with social media management agencies in the UAE.
The UAE’s National Media Council (NMC) announced on Monday, a new three-category system in conjunction with the influencer law, that took effect just days ago on June 1.
Dr. Rashed Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of Support at the National Media Council told Gulf News, “We have had a great response to the Influencer law and over 600 registrations were filed in total over the last five days.”
The NMC recognises that not all influencers operate at the same level, thus have introduced the three categories to give them the option to work individually, as groups or under an official body.
The first category includes the “Individual Licence” for independent influencers, which will cost Dh15,000. They would also have to acquire a separate trade license as well, which comes at an additional cost.
The second category, is the “Partnership Licence” for small groups of friends or family who can set up a company together, which would also cost Dh15,000.
The third category is for influencers to sign up with official “Influencer Agencies” that are certified by the NMC. These influencers will not have to pay any licensing fees or register as a company, however the catch is that they must work exclusively with the clients of the agency and would not be allowed to acquire business independently.
On Sunday, many Dubai influencers were sent emails - which Gulf News has had access to - from influencer management agencies, urging them to join the agency and avoid the worry of licensing fees. These agencies, once officially registered with the NMC, can sign as many influencers as they want.
Food blogger and influencer Sana Chaudry told Gulf News, “My inbox is flooded with emails from agencies asking me to join them. There would be many benefits to being part of an established agency. They would represent me and would even negotiate on my behalf, if I were to be under their license. I haven’t yet decided which agency I would like to be a part of, but a brand which has more quality bloggers then quantity would be an agency I would like to work with.
I have spoken to quite a few micro influencers and none were happy about the introduction of the new licence. For many, posting on social media is a part-time affair rather then a full time job and most would have been priced out by the costs of starting up.”
Other influencers are happy about the new law. Lavina Israni told Gulf News, “I think it’s time that influencers get legalised and this is an efficient way to quality control.”
The NMC had previously unveiled a set of regulations for electronic media, governing all online activities including e-commerce, which revealed that influencers had to acquire independent licences in order to conduct any business. It was then revealed that influencers also had to register for a separate trade licence.
The new three category system has many influencers relieved and is seen as a positive change, especially for bloggers and influencers who have full time jobs and use social media promotion part time.