New UAE Media Rules: Here's All That You Need to Know

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 19 December 2023
New UAE Media Rules: Here's All That You Need to Know

The UAE Government has instituted a federal decree aimed at regulating media activities across individuals, organizations, and dedicated media zones in the country. This comprehensive directive extends permissions for both individuals and legal entities to establish and manage media institutions, subject to specific regulations and conditions.

What Are Media Activities?

Under this law, media activities cover a wide spectrum, including the production, circulation, printing, and publishing of media content. This also incorporates audio, video, and digital broadcasting, whether for a fee or offered free of charge.

New UAE Media Rules: Here's All That You Need to Know

Licensing and Oversight

The decree dictates the issuance and supervision of licenses and permits for conducting these media activities. It also structures the responsibilities of the UAE Media Council and local government bodies tasked with overseeing media affairs.

Compliance and Standards

Compliance with national standards for media content is a core aspect of the decree. Notably, these standards mandate the following:

  • Honor Islamic beliefs, all faiths, and diverse beliefs;
  • Uphold the nation’s sovereignty, symbols, institutions, and the paramount interests of the UAE and its community;
  • Adhere to domestic and international directives and policies of the country;
  • Prevent any detrimental effects on the UAE’s diplomatic relationships; and
  • Honor the cultural heritage, national identity, and societal values.

Additionally, media entities and individuals must refrain from:

  • Disseminating information that undermines national unity or social harmony;
  • Inciting violence, hatred, or discord among society members;
  • Demonstrating irresponsible use of the UAE’s legal and economic systems;
  • Disregarding privacy regulations and the personal lives of individuals; and
  • Publishing, broadcasting, or spreading false or misleading information that could incite criminal activities.

New UAE Media Rules: Here's All That You Need to Know

Permits Issuance

The UAE Media Council assumes responsibility for issuing permits for various creative productions, from cinema screenings to books and video games. Additionally, it administers the Media Content Rating System, defining suitable age groups for different media and entertainment content. The decree empowers the Council to conduct oversight and surveillance of individuals, outlets, and media institutions, including those in free zones.

Intellectual Property Protection

In collaboration with competent authorities, the UAE Media Council will advocate for protecting intellectual property among individuals, establishments, and media institutions in the country.

New UAE Media Rules: Here's All That You Need to Know

Timeline and Adjustments

Individuals and media outlets affected by this law are granted a twelve-month window to align their operations with its provisions. This period may be subject to extension through a Cabinet decision.

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