More than 600 social media influencers have registered their online work with the National Media Council (NMC) over the past five months, according to the agency's latest update.
The NMC said it had also issued 150 e-media licences to companies since June when new rules started requiring news websites and electronic publishing outlets to obtain operation licences. These companies cover about 900 social media accounts since one licence may apply to multiple pages.
Dr Rashid Al Nuaimi, NMC's executive director for media affairs, said: "Social media influencers and firms have responded positively to the new regulations as many have registered to obtain e-media licences."
All influencers and online media sites, which usually take on brand advertising and sponsorships, must apply for two licences to legally operate in the country - one is an e-media licence with a starting cost of Dh15,000 and a trade licence, the cost of which varies in category between free zone and mainland, according to the NMC.
"The government decided to issue licenses for electronic media to enhance its reliability. Individuals and firms that operate online for commercial purposes and haven't obtained the e-media licenses should register with the NMC and get one to avoid problems," Dr Al Nuaimi said, adding that the council has a dedicated team that monitors both registered and unregistered accounts.
Officials have warned that individuals or establishments caught violating the media law will be slapped with fines of up to Dh5,000 or have their websites or social media accounts shut down.
The new regulations apply to all online media platforms and personalities that carry out commercial activities within the UAE, including those in free zones.
In addition to licence requirements, the NMC had also issued a new guide for advertising last week, setting the standards for ads in all its forms, including those on websites and in social media.
Copyright © 2019 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.