All you need to know about the NMC Permit in the UAE

Social Media plays an incredible role in our daily lives. What started as a platform to connect with family and friends, has now grown into an indispensable tool for marketing in the world of digital media. We are constantly exposed to innumerable facts, products, ideas, brands and people on Social Media. This has given these platforms the power to influence thoughts, buyer behavior and consumption pattern. Amongst the various types of marketing activities that happen on the internet, social media influencing has seen a huge rise.

A social media influencer is a user who has a wide base of audience following and consuming his/her content on a regular basis. There are different types of influencers based on the kind of content they publish. For instance, some influencers place more focus on publishing content about foods and restaurants, others on fashion brands.

Analyzing the huge impact influencers have on society, the UAE government has deemed it necessary to regulate electronic content publishing, including that done by individuals.

The National Media Council

This is the authority that supervises the implementation of media policy across the UAE. They have issued a decision mandating all content producing entities to acquire a permit from the council. This is part of a comprehensive project called the Electronic Media System.

During its implementation, understandably, there has been a lot of confusion around obtaining this license. In this blog, we will be breaking down the newly issued Electronic Media System and try to answer the questions that many business owners have regarding their eligibility to acquire the Permit.

The License is not restrictive to Influencers

When the decision was issued, many license-issuing entities and consulting agencies focused more on marketing the Influencer License than the other regulations that are just as legally binding as the influencers’ license. Therefore, most people thought that this law only applies to social media influencers, while that is not the case.

Electronic Media System (EMS) Objectives

Internet Safet

The main goal of the UAE government is the safety and well-being of its residents, whether nationals or expatriates. To that end, the government decided to launch a system to observe the media content that the society of the UAE is exposed to. By setting regulations and criteria for media-content producers to abide by, they have ensured that the content families and individuals in the UAE consume is protected against any bad influence.

In addition to this crucial protection, there are other economic advantages to adopting such a system. It encourages companies to invest more in digital media, thus driving the economic development of the UAE.

Who should acquire the NMC Approval?

Firstly, one should be aware that even if one is not eligible for the approval, which means that you are not required to obtain it, you are still bound by the regulations that govern content publishing.

The general rule says: Any entity, be it a company, an agency or an individual, that publishes content for commercial purposes must obtain an Approval from the National Media Council to be allowed to legally publish content in the UAE.

The National Media Council has created a list specifying the business activities that require its approval. View the list below:

nmc list
(The list has been taken from the NMC’s introductory file to the EMS. To view the complete file, click here.)

What about Influencers?

In a workshop conducted by Sharjah Media City (Shams) and the National Media Council, the Representative of the council, Dr. Rashid Al Nuaimi, the Council's Executive Director of Media Affairs, stated that there are three types of influencers:

-  Individuals: The process for individual influencers who are residents of the UAE is simple. All they must do in case they are only looking to obtain the approval is, visit the Council and settle the payment (AED 15,000). Upon completing the payment and submitting the required documents, they can receive the approval within hours.

-  Companies: This means if a group of influencers form a company and choose to use social media platforms for advertising and promoting other brands, the company as an entity must obtain one Approval from the Council. However, it is a necessity for the company to register its employees and keep updating the council in case of new joiners or if any of the previous employees leave the company.

-  Agencies: An influencer agency ties up with individual influencers. This means that the influencer as an individual doesn’t have to get the Approval directly from the Council. Instead, they register with an agency that is licensed by the National Media Council and work through that agency.

And finally, we advise you to thoroughly read the conditions and requirements that you should abide by when posting online content. To learn about the detailed requirements and conditions that should be met to be able to obtain this Approval, please click here.

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