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PENALTIES FOR BLOGGERS AND INFLUENCERS OPERATING WITHOUT A LICENSE IN THE UAE

Bloggers and influencers operating without a license in the UAE face several potential penalties, depending on the nature of their activities. Dubai: In the UAE, bloggers and influencers are required to obtain a license to operate legally. Failure to secure this license can lead to severe consequences, both financial and legal. Key Penalties: Financial Penalties: Initial Fines: Unlicensed bloggers and influencers can face fines ranging from AED 5,000 to AED 500,000. The amount depends on the severity and frequency of the violation. Increased Penalties: Repeat offenses can result in higher fines and additional penalties, increasing the financial burden on the violator. Legal Action: Court Cases: Influencers who continue to operate without a license may be taken to court for violating the regulations. Civil and Criminal Liability: Depending on the nature of the case, violators could face civil or criminal charges. This can lead to further fines and even potential imprisonment. Suspension of Activities: Account Suspension: The National Media Council (NMC) has the authority to temporarily or permanently suspend the social media accounts of unlicensed influencers. Business Closure: For agencies operating without the necessary licenses, the NMC can mandate the closure of the business, halting all operations. Factors Affecting Penalties: National Media Council (NMC) officials have stated they actively monitor social media for unlicensed influencers and may issue warnings before imposing fines for repeat offenders. The severity of the penalty can vary depending on factors like: ·       Frequency and Scale of Unlicensed Activity: Occasional posts might attract a lighter fine compared to a sustained, commercial operation. ·       Content Type: Content deemed harmful or offensive could lead to stricter penalties. ·       Cooperation with Authorities: Showing willingness to comply with regulations might result in leniency. How to Avoid Penalties: ·       Obtain the Necessary License: Apply for an influencer license or a media license for your agency (if applicable) through the National Media Council. ·       Understand Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the UAE's media regulations and advertising standards for influencers. ·       Partner with a Licensed Agency: Consider collaborating with a licensed influencer marketing agency that can handle licensing and compliance aspects. Licensing Requirements: Fees: Influencers must pay the required licensing fee. The fee structure can vary, and it is essential to check the latest rates with the NMC. Renewal: Licenses are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. Failing to renew on time can also attract penalties. Compliance: Influencers must adhere to the UAE’s content and advertising standards, ensuring that all published content is in line with national regulations. Importance of Compliance: Securing a license and adhering to UAE regulations is crucial for influencers to maintain their operations smoothly. It not only helps in avoiding hefty fines and legal actions but also boosts the influencer's credibility and trust among their audience. Steps to Obtain a License: 1.     Application: Submit a detailed application to the NMC, providing all necessary personal and professional information. 2.     Fee Payment: Pay the required licensing fee. Ensure that all payments are made promptly to avoid any delays. 3.     Compliance Check: Ensure that all content adheres to the UAE’s content and advertising standards. 4.     Annual Renewal: Keep track of the license expiration date and renew it annually to remain compliant. For further details on the licensing process and to ensure compliance with all regulations, influencers are advised to consult the National Media Council or seek guidance from legal experts. ALKETBI TOUCH: ALKETBI team is highly skilled and frequently provides legal assistance specializing in sustaining individuals and businesses of all sizes. For further insights and updates on any legal topic, legal reforms, visit our website and social media platforms as it provides valuable resources and guidance for understanding the UAE legal landscape and provides insights on a regional basis and beyond. If you need guidance or have concerns and queries, or you would like us to assist you in applying for your license - Let us know!

DUBAI BANS SINGLE-USE BAGS STARTING JUNE 1: DETAILS ON REGULATIONS AND FINES

Dubai has implemented a comprehensive ban on single-use bags, aiming to reduce plastic waste and promote environmental sustainability. Dubai: Effective from 1st of June 2024, Dubai residents will no longer be able to buy single-use plastic bags for a fee of 25 fils at retail stores as a part of a policy to phase out various single-use products by 2026. What is banned? All single-use bags, regardless of material, with a thickness of 57 micrometers (microns) or less are prohibited. This includes: ·       Plastic bags (previously banned in January 2024) ·       Paper bags ·       Biodegradable and compostable bags made from plant materials Overview: Implementation Date: June 1 Objective: Eliminate single-use products by 2026 Purpose of the ban: This ban is part of a global initiative to enhance sustainability, minimize environmental impact, conserve natural resources, and protect wildlife habitats. The ultimate goal is to create a healthier environment, which is essential for a sustainable and high quality of life. What alternatives are available? ·       Consumers are encouraged to switch to reusable bags made from materials like cloth, canvas, or jute. ·       Stores may sell reusable bags at their discretion, but they are not obligated to provide them for free. Environmental considerations: Wildlife Impact: 86% of dead turtles on UAE shores had ingested plastic. Animal Mortality: Many camel deaths are attributed to plastic bag consumption. Marine Pollution: 100,000 marine animals are affected by plastic pollution annually. Longevity of Plastic: Plastic takes over 400 years to decompose, causing long-term environmental damage. The Municipality encourages the use of reusable cloth bags and has communicated the new policy details to stakeholders. For further information, residents are advised to follow updates from the Municipality. Fines for Non-Compliance: ·       Businesses caught violating the ban will face a fine of AED 200 (approximately USD 54). ·       The fine amount doubles for each repeat offense within a year, with a maximum penalty of AED 2,000 (approximately USD 545). Remember: By carrying your own reusable bag when shopping, you can contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment in Dubai! In conclusion Single-use plastic bags pose a significant environmental threat. They contribute to plastic pollution in landfills and oceans, harming wildlife and ecosystems. Dubai aims to become a leader in sustainable practices and reduce its environmental footprint. This initiative is expected to significantly reduce plastic waste generation in Dubai. This initiative is expected to significantly reduce plastic waste generation in Dubai. ALKETBI TOUCH: ALKETBI team is highly skilled and frequently provides legal assistance specializing in sustaining individuals and businesses of all sizes. For further insights and updates on any legal topic, legal reforms, visit our website and social media platforms as it provides valuable resources and guidance for understanding the UAE legal landscape and provides insights on a regional basis and beyond. If you need guidance or have concerns and queries, Let us know!

COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF THE NEW UAE PENSIONS LAW

In an effort to modernize the pension system and improve the financial security of its citizens and residents, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently introduced a new pensions law. This legislation marks a significant overhaul of the previous pension framework, aiming to provide a more robust, sustainable, and inclusive system. Dubai: This article explores the key aspects of the new UAE Pensions Law, including its most critical articles and the implications for employees and employers within the UAE. Background of the UAE Pensions Law The UAE's commitment to enhancing the welfare of its workforce is reflected in the introduction of the new Federal Law by Decree No. (57) of 2023 Concerning Pension and Social Security (as the “Law”) . As the nation's economy continues to diversify away from oil reliance, the government recognizes the need to establish a comprehensive social security system that supports its demographic changes and economic reforms. On 31st of October 2023, UAE Federal Decree Law No. 57 of 2023 (2023 Pensions Law) was enacted. The law, in force since its publication, is applicable to UAE national individuals commencing employment and registered with the General Pensions and Social Security Authority (as the “GPSSA”) for the first. Notably, it excludes UAE nationals covered by the 1999 Pensions Law, pensioners under the same law, and those who have received end-of-service gratuity under the 1999 Pensions Law. The Law introduces several significant changes designed to enhance the pension system's effectiveness and sustainability. Key Changes Introduced by the 2023 Pensions Law Increased Pension Contributions The Law stipulates revised contribution rates for both employers and employees, aiming to ensure that the pension funds are capable of providing sufficient post-retirement income. Employers are now required to contribute a higher percentage compared to the previous law, which helps in accumulating a larger pension fund for employees. Contributions must be made on monthly basis to the GPSSA based on the employee’s full salary, including incentives. Employers are required to contribute 15% of the employee's salary, with 2.5% covered by the government for private sector employees earning less than AED 20,000 monthly. Employees contribute 11% of their salary. Contributions are calculated as full months, even for partially worked months. Pensionable Salary Cap The maximum salary cap for pension contributions has been raised. For public sector employees, the cap is increased from AED 50,000 to AED 100,000. For private sector employees, it is raised from AED 50,000 to AED 70,000. Unlike the 1999 Pensions Law, the new law does not include end-of-service gratuity for amounts above the pensionable cap. Eligible Service Periods Contributions must continue during periods of leave, secondments, and unpaid periods like study or sick leave. Employees on unpaid study leave or childcare leave (up to three years) can opt to continue contributions by paying all dues for the period. Suspensions without pay allow for withholding contributions. Retirement Entitlement The minimum retirement age is set at 55 years with a minimum subscription period of 30 years. Working mothers can retire earlier with shorter subscription periods. Employees can purchase additional service periods if they have 25 years of actual service or 15 years if aged 60 or more, with a maximum of five years for both men and women. Pension Calculation The pension amount is based on the average salary of the last six years of service or the entire subscription period, if shorter. The rate is 2.67% of the pensionable salary per year for up to 30 years, increasing to 4% annually beyond 30 years, capping at 100% of the pensionable salary. The minimum monthly pension is AED 10,000, with GPSSA covering any shortfall. For service periods exceeding 35 years, an additional three months' salary per year is paid based on the pensionable salary. Investment of Funds To ensure the growth of pension funds, the new law provides guidelines on the investment of pension contributions. These guidelines are designed to diversify the investments and minimize risks, thereby enhancing the fund's profitability and sustainability. Implementation and Compliance The Law aims to encourage the employment of UAE nationals and outlines the new contribution rates and guidelines for compliance. It is essential for companies to understand these changes to avoid fines and penalties. Contribution payments under this new law will begin on January 1, 2024. One of the pivotal aspects of the new law is its inclusiveness. The coverage has been widened and expanded to include more sectors and categories of workers, including part-time and contract workers, ensuring that a larger portion of the workforce has access to pension benefits. In Conclusion Recognizing the mobile nature of today's workforce, the new law provides provisions for the portability of pension benefits. Employees changing jobs within the UAE can transfer their pension contributions to their new employers, which is a significant shift from the earlier system. The law now allows employees to make voluntary contributions over and above the mandatory contributions, which provides an opportunity for individuals to enhance their pension benefits and plan more effectively for retirement. The new UAE Pensions Law represents a significant step forward in the country's efforts to provide a more secure and sustainable financial future for its workforce. By introducing higher contribution rates, expanding coverage, and allowing for the portability of benefits, the law not only enhances the welfare of the employees but also contributes to the overall economic stability of the country. As the UAE continues to evolve its legislative framework, this law serves as a testament to its commitment to improving the lives of its residents and maintaining its status as a leading global economic hub. ALKETBI TOUCH: ALKETBI team is highly skilled and frequently provides legal assistance specializing in sustaining employers and employees. For further insights and updates on employment law reforms, visit our website and social media platforms as it provides valuable resources and guidance for understanding the complex landscape of employment law in the region and beyond. If you request further guidance or you have concerns and queries, Let us know!

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