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Social Media Influencer License Dubai

22nd June 2020

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 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 Of Companies can help you to obtain your trade license, helping you to determine which is the best license for your circumstances and organizing it for you - it could be either a mainland company or a free zone company.

Social media influencer license Dubai

Once you have set up your business in Dubai and obtained your trade license, it is then necessary to apply for a further license from the National Media Council - your social media influencer license. This license costs AED15,000 and is renewable annually. Similarly to setting up your company, Gateway can also organise your social media influencer license.

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. 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 National Media Council, 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. Trade licenses are unique to the individual they represent - one size doesn't fit all. Get Gateway to organise your Dubai social media influencer license uniquely for you, today!

Call Gateway Group: 600 567562


#GatewayToUAE #ReassuringlyHonest

Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO

Gateway Group of Companies, Abu Dhabi & Dubai UAE


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