Social Media Influencer License Dubai
Updated: Sep 15
22nd June 2020, (Updated 15th September 2023)
Thought leader? Influencer? Social media guru? Persuasive? Have opinions? Review and discuss products and services? Have captivating content? Do any or all of these descriptions describe you? If so, you may consider yourself a social media influencer or have thought about becoming one.
What social media influencers do?
Social media influencers have a reputation, credibility and authenticity in their chosen field, such as travel, makeup, food, pets etc... They post regularly on social media platforms to highly engaged followers. The content of their posts can range from reviewing a new product on the market (e.g. trialing a new lipstick in a You Tube video) to giving tips (e.g. information and advice in a blog). They usually have specialist knowledge in their niche and have strong opinions which can influence their followers to take action, thus increasing sales of the products and services which they talk about.
Why become a social media influencer?
To discuss and share your passion for your chosen niche.
To boost your existing business.
To contract with brands in your niche and get paid to represent them - earning a side income or generating your main revenue stream.
To get freebie products and experiences from your favourite brands to promote them.
Social media influencer income
Social media influencers earn money from advertisers on their websites or brands paying them to represent their products on their social media platforms (e.g. Facebook posts, You Tube videos, Instagram posts etc...)
According to IZEA Worldwide, the average cost of a sponsored:
Instagram photo in 2019 was $1,642.77, up $500 from the previous year.
Blog post in 2019 was $1,442, up from $407 just five years earlier.
Facebook update in 2019 was $395, up $150 from 2018.
Is being a social media influencer a business?
In Dubai, if you are making money by carrying out an activity, you are considered to be in business. The laws of the UAE require every business to have a trade license and to be registered with the appropriate authorities. This means social media influencers need to establish a business and get a trade license issued in order to operate legally. Not sure where to start and how to do this? Gateway Group can arrange your trade license for you.
Social media influencer license Dubai
(Updated 15th September 2023)
Upon successfully setting up your business and obtaining your trade license in Dubai, it is necessary to apply for a further license, which is actually your social media license, from the Media Regulatory Office, which has assumed the responsibilities of the former National Media Council. The social media influencer license is renewable annually. Gateway Group can also arrange your social media influencer license for you too.
Do all social media influencers need a license?
If you are a social media influencer who is not monetizing your online activities, you are exempt from needing a social media influencer license. This also includes social media influencers who receive samples and freebies. The license is only needed when the social media influencer is actually being paid.
Social media influencer Dubai fines
Social media influencers are not permitted to operate until they have obtained their trade license and their social media influencer license has been issued from the National Media Council (updated 15th September 2023 now the Media Regulatory Office). Failure to have the required license whilst operating will incur a fine of a minimum AED5,000.
How social media influencers can protect themselves further
Become familiar with the UAE's Media Law and Cybercrimes Law and adhere to them.
Social media influencer fined Dh300,000 in UAE
A social media influencer in Abu Dhabi was fined AED300,000 for violating UAE online laws, banned from using social media for a year and ordered to close their social media accounts. In April 2020, the appeals court upheld the influencer's earlier verdict.
Do social media influencers in the UAE really reap the rewards?
In June 2020, Khaleej Times reported that Dubai-based social media influencer Mun Mun Ghosh was the only blogger from the UAE to be nominated for the World Bloggers Awards, (Best Lifestyle Blog category). If she wins, she'll be walking the red carpet at the awards ceremony during the Cannes Film Festival next year.
How Gateway can get you setup as a social media influencer in Dubai
Gateway Group is the authority on company formation. Our intention is to ensure everyone gets the best license for their circumstances and is covered to carry out their chosen activities. For social media influencers, Gateway Group will arrange your Dubai trade license followed by for your social media influencer license from the Media Regulatory Office, so that you are fully setup as a fully-licensed influencer and can legally engage with brands to earn money from your online activities promoting them.
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Written by Jenny Hunt
Founder, Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates
FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Middle East