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Are you a social media influencer who earns money by recommending and promoting products and services online? If you are, you really need to know about this that will impact you sooner or later.

The United Arab Emirates has introduced a first-of-its-kind rule that makes it compulsory for social media influencers to get a media license. Simply speaking, social media influencers need the government’s permission to promote stuff online.

This new rule, which sets a precedent for other countries in this region, aims at bringing in better regulations to the social media influencer market that’s currently unregulated.

As you might be aware of, social media influencing has become a specialized area of work, and prominent online personalities are earning hefty fees (tens or hundreds of dollars) for promotional posts.

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Director General of the UAE National Media Council Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri said: “The new regulations are part of the Council’s plan to promote and develop an advanced legislative and regulatory environment for the UAE media sector, keeping it up-to-speed with regards to all technological developments that have transformed media in recent times.

“Today, electronic media has become a highly influential and widespread tool; it is imperative that we enhance its reliability. Digital media is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Middle East, especially videos, games and e-books. Regulating this sector will attract new global investments, which, in turn, will improve its development and competitiveness.”

He added that the new guidelines seek to enhance the contribution of electronic media to the wider publishing industry, providing legal protection for the outlets and enhancing their competitiveness, all in an effort to increase advertising spend and grow the sector as a whole.