Stars who make money through their promotions must get a licence before the end of June.

They can command thousands for promoting brands and businesses, and they’re soon about to come under regulation.

Social media influencers in the UAE who make money from their online collaborations will have to acquire licences, the National Media Council revealed this week.

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The government-issued licences aim to professionalise and regulate the ever-growing industry, The National reports, and will similar to those held by magazines and newspapers.

The new rules will ensure “media material respects the religious, cultural and social values of the UAE,” an official said, according to the Washington Post.

 

Those who engage in commercial partnerships or sell content through their sites will need to register for a licence before the end of June, or face fines of up to Dhs5,000.

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Possible penalties also include warnings, and influencers’ websites or social media accounts being shut down.

“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,” the National Media Council’s director general, Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri, said, according to The National.

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“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.”

Publishing, media and digital businesses that already have licences don’t need to secure new ones, and school, college, university and government websites are also exempt.

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Image: Zoella/Instagram, one of the UK’s biggest bloggers and YouTube stars, Getty