What you need to know about Abu Dhabi's social media influencer licence
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What you need to know about Abu Dhabi’s social media influencer licence

What you need to know about Abu Dhabi’s social media influencer licence

The rules aim to ensure transparency and accountability in the fast-growing field of influencer marketing

Marisha Singh

Starting from July 1, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has mandated that all businesses and social media influencers must obtain appropriate licences to participate in advertising on websites and social media platforms, reported state news agency WAM.

This requirement ensures compliance with local regulations and aims to organise the rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape, it quoted the ADDED notification.

ADDED has called on all economic establishments and social media influencers to comply and adhere to the requirement for social media influencers to obtain a licence from the department to practise advertising services via electronic platforms.

It also pointed out that non-compliance with regulations and conditions when contracting with influencers and social media sites will expose influencers to the stipulated penalties and fines.

Fines will range from Dhs3,000 and up to Dhs10,000. Non-compliance may even lead to business closure for disregarding ADDED’s circulars.

Why is Abu Dhabi enforcing these licensing regulations?

The goal is to regulate advertising activities and maintain standards within the growing field of digital marketing.

The regulations help ensure that both businesses and influencers operate within the legal framework, promoting transparency and accountability in the industry.

Who is required to obtain these licences?

Licences 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.

What are the fees associated with the influencer licence?

The cost of obtaining the required licences through ADDED’s Tamm platform is as follows:

  • Individual Influencers: Dhs1,250.
  • Companies or groups of influencers: Dhs5,000.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Unlicensed social media influencers and businesses face fines of up to Dhs10,000. Companies could also be subject to closure if they are found to be operating without the necessary permits.

Are there additional licences required?

Yes, influencers operating in Abu Dhabi must also secure a permit from the UAE Media Council. This dual requirement ensures compliance with both local and national media guidelines.

How can one apply for these licences?

Applications can be made through the Tamm website, which serves as the official portal for Abu Dhabi government services.

The process involves registering and paying the relevant fees for either an individual or company licence.

What benefits do these licences offer?

Holding the proper licences allows influencers and businesses to:

  • Legally engage in advertising and promotional activities on digital platforms.
  • Ensure compliance with Abu Dhabi’s regulatory standards.
  • Avoid potential fines and legal issues associated with unlicensed operations.
  • Contribute to a more transparent and regulated digital advertising environment.

What should influencers operating outside Abu Dhabi consider?

Influencers earning revenue from social media posts anywhere in the UAE must also obtain a National Media Council licence. Licensing requirements and costs vary across different emirates:

  • Dubai: Requires both a UAE Media Council licence and an individual freelance trade licence, with total costs reaching Dhs30,000.
  • Ras Al Khaimah: Offers a social media influencer licence for Dhs3,550 annually, inclusive of the National Media Council permit.
  • Ajman: Provides licences starting at Dhs2,500 for individuals and Dhs10,000 for companies, with an additional Dhs260 for National Media Council approval.

How have these regulations been received by the industry?

Many industry professionals and marketing agencies support the regulations, viewing them as necessary for maintaining standards and compliance.

The rules are seen as beneficial for ensuring transparency and accountability in the fast-growing field of influencer marketing.

Read: MoHRE sets June 30 deadline for Emiratisation targets compliance

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