14 June 2024

Arushi Dhawan

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 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!

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