Up to AED 10K: Abu Dhabi Cracks Down on Unlicensed Influencers with New Fines and Regulations

Starting July 1st, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) will enforce a new policy requiring all social media influencers and licensed economic establishments engaging in advertising services to obtain a license. 

Penalties for non-compliance can reach up to AED10,000 ($2,723) and may include business closures. This regulation aims to bring transparency, accountability, and consumer protection to the rapidly growing influencer market.

Licensing Requirements and Application Process

The cost of a license is AED1,250 for individuals and AED5,000 for businesses. Applications can be submitted through the unified digital platform TAMM. Foreigners outside the UAE can also obtain a license with an Emirates ID card or a UAE Unified Number.

The regulation applies to all entities in Abu Dhabi, including government companies and branches of external companies.

Rationale Behind ADDED’s Decision

ADDED’s decision addresses concerns about the lack of oversight in influencer marketing, aiming to ensure high standards of transparency and integrity. The regulations seek to protect consumer rights, enhance advertising quality, and promote fair competition.

This move is part of ADDED’s efforts to create an ideal economic environment in Abu Dhabi.

Impact on Influencers and Businesses

Influencers must obtain licenses, which involves a financial cost and adherence to standards, potentially challenging smaller or new influencers. However, increased credibility and consumer trust are long-term benefits. Businesses must verify their partners’ licenses to avoid fines and closures, emphasizing the importance of responsible marketing practices.

Future Outlook

With an expected rise in licensed influencers, Abu Dhabi’s influencer marketing landscape will transform, leading to more professional and trustworthy advertising practices. ADDED’s regulatory framework sets a precedent that may inspire similar measures in other regions.

Compliance with these regulations will be essential for avoiding penalties and contributing to a robust digital economy in Abu Dhabi.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t Miss…Floating Balloons & An Interactive Universe: Jeddah’s First Digital Art Museum Opens June 10th