National Media Council, NMC, is an independent federal authority established
under Federal Law by Decree No. 01 of 2006, amending some provisions of Federal
Law No. 01 of 1972. It is the revised law for the Ministry of Information and
Cultural Affairs with respect to media affairs.
Cabinet decision No. 09 for the year 2013, the Council shall have the following
Fulfilment of all media affairs of the State and highlighting the concept of
national unity as a political entity to ensure tranquillity and stability for
Overseeing all media in the country.
Highlighting the positions of the State in the Arab and international forums
and receive media representatives and correspondents of newspapers and
international news agencies, providing them with necessary information and
brochures to inform the public on the stances of the State in various fields.
Represent the State at conferences and media events both inside the country and
Providing media licensing to media organisations in the country.
Following-up media content for all printed, published and broadcast media in
the country and imported from abroad.
Conduct research and media studies.
Support and develop Emirati media personnel.
National Media Council provides major services, most notably:
1. News services through the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
2. Media licensing services through the Department of Media Licensing.
3. Management of the following-up of all media content.
are four Media Free Zones: Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority,
twofour54 Abu Dhabi Media Zone, Fujairah Media Zone and RAK Media Free Zone.
period of a media license is one year and the license holder may apply for a
license for a period of three years and should pay the fees for three years.
first year book was issued in 1975 .
implementation of Cabinet decision No. 12 for the year 2013 on fees for media
The renewal of a Media license within 30 days from the date of expiry will not
incur any fines, but the owner of the license must pay the renewal fee due.
In cases where the owner of the license wishes to renew after 30 days from the
date of expiry, a fine of AED50 will be imposed for each day of the delay
subject to a maximum fine, plus the value of the imposed fee of the new
The holder of a Media License has the right to cancel it within 30 days of its
expiry date for a fee of AED100 to issue a certificate of license cancellation.
case the owner of the license requests cancelation after 30 days from the
expiry date, a fine of AED50 for each day of a delay, subject to a maximum
fine, be imposed on the value of the fee of the new license, in addition to fee
of AED100 for a certificate of license cancellation.
Name, surname, nationality and place of residence of the applicant (including a
copy of the family book and passport).
Name of the Editor-in-Chief or responsible editors and publishers, if any,
including the surname of all, their age, nationality, place of residence and
Name of the newspaper and its language of publishing, dates of issuance, its
address and description.
The name of the printing press that prints the newspaper, if it does not have
The license application should be signed by the owner of the newspaper, the
Editor-in-Chief, responsible editors or the publisher, if any.
A deposited bank guarantee of AED50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dirhams) made for the
benefit of the NMC.
Pledge to abide by the laws and regulations in force, including the Press and
Publications Law, and of the procedures and terms and instructions issued by
the National Media Council, as well as a commitment to the policy of the State.
Payment of the prescribed fees.
Fill out a form of issuance for a new magazine license, signed by the applicant
or the person authorised to do so.
Copy of passport, a summary of registration and three photographs of the
applicant and Editor-in-Chief.
Copy of qualifications for the applicant and Editor-in-Chief.
A bank guarantee of AED25,000 (Twenty-five Thousand Dirhams), which is
irrevocable and non-specific.
In case the applicant does not work for the publication, he or she should sign
acknowledgment number 2.
Bring a working draft copy of the publication.
A To Whom It May Concern letter from the employer to the applicant and
Editor-in-Chief (in the case of working in a governmental or semi-governmental
application for acquiring a broadcasting license must be submitted in accordance
with the forms prepared by the NMC and the application should have the
The proposed name of the channel or station, details of its main centre of
operations and the language of broadcasting.
Detailed data about the applicant (person or company) and partners, if any, and
those who will work with the applicant, including their previous experience and
detailed data on the sources of funding.
Documents to prove the financial ability of the applicant to cover the expenses
of incorporation, and, in particular, the expenses of the first year.
Feasibility study from recognised sources.
Technical, operational and programming plans for the required license must be
submitted when applying for a license and upon its renewal.
Technical study includes types of services to be provided by broadcasting activity
and the geographical area it covers, the techniques used in the provision of
such services, taking into account the importance of the adoption of the
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the technical specifications and
techniques used in the broadcast.
Encourage employing national media cadres in the organisation for which the
license is required.
Pledge to specify programmes (in case of local radio and television stations
that broadcast in non-Arabic languages) to support the interests of national
development in the United Arab Emirates and to clarify the policy of the State
in various fields.
If the applicant is a company, it must be an institution in accordance with the
laws and regulations in force in the State, in that the capital of the company
should be AED2 million (in case of a radio service request) or AED5 million in case of
a television service request.
Any data and other studies requested by the Council.
For Institutions: application form for publishing - a copy of media and
business licenses - a copy of the book.
For individuals - a copy of the book - an identity card, and registration
certificate from the office of the intellectual works in case of exclusive
certificate or qualification is not required for an applicant except in cases
of licenses for newspapers, magazines and the re-printing or republishing of
them, and licenses of printing houses.
decision includes several major elements. The first lists the specifications
required for commercial media licenses provided by the Council and their
related fees. They include 48 licenses, such as licenses for importing and
distributing books, licenses for magazines and newspapers intended for
distribution, licenses for the private media service office, the body
responsible for collecting news, writing news reports and analysis.
Council plans to provide these services to its subscribers and to the offices
of news agencies, as well as issue licenses for the import and distribution by
audio means (cassettes, cds, data files etc.), issue licenses for the import
and distribution by visual means (videos, VCD, DVD’s, data files etc.), and
licenses for film and visual productions as well as licenses for advertisement
banners, advertisement productions and design.
decision in its second element includes media activities that require
permission from the National Media Council to practice, and the required fees
for them. These activities refer to 13 kinds of permissions, including
permission to release or distribute films, the release of screenplays,
permission for publishing weekly or monthly magazines and daily or weekly
decision in its third element stipulates the fees for the sale of 19 forms of
informational material provided by the Council through the Emirates News Agency
(WAM), such as the selling of photographs and film or video material, including
the cost of delivery of same.
fourth element of the decision refers to determining the fees for the services
of foreign correspondents, where the decision stipulates two types of guarantee
cards, the first is temporary for six months and the second lasting for a
period of one year only.
resolution included a fifth element regarding the identification of
administrative fines for a number of violations, such as those relating to the
exercise of any of media activities contained therein without prior permission,
in addition to identifying a fine for everyone who sells copied content by
audio or visual means, and everyone who does not abide to obtaining necessary
permissions for publishing, as well as anyone who does not abide by the
advertising controls set by the National Media Council.
No. 04 of the decision of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign
Minister and Chairman of the National Media Council, refers to a list of
criteria for advertising content in media sources, stipulated standards that
media license holders must adhere to, with respect to advertisements published
and broadcast by them, and advertisements which do not abide by these standards
will be considered contrary to this decision. These criteria are:
Not to blaspheme, not to offend Islamic beliefs and show respect for other
Respecting government regimes in the United Arab Emirates and its symbols, as
well as its political institutions.
Respecting the cultural heritage and civilisation of the U.A.E..
Not to offend national unity, social cohesion or incite sectarianism and
Respecting the policies pursued by the United Arab Emirates at both the
domestic level and at the level of its relations with other countries.
Not to offend the economic system in the State and not to spread rumours or
tendentious and misleading news.
Respecting government policies to promote its national identity.
Respecting the principles and code of ethics in media work.
Not to publish or broadcast information that harms children and women or any
other social group, and not to incite hatred and violence.
Not to publish obscene pictures or words.
It is not allowed to advertise in any way the work of witchcraft or astrology.
Take into account the conditions and controls concern the flag of the State,
its slogan and national anthem.
Respecting intellectual property rights.
Abide by the rules of ethical conduct and standards of honesty, including
compliance with the rules that govern business work, particularly with regard
to controls of consumer protection, fair competition and the prohibition of
commercial fraud and illegal monopoly.
Not to allow advertising for alcoholic beverages or banned narcotic substances
in any way, whether directly or indirectly.
Not to allow advertising of tobacco products or show smoking in any manner, and
any other services or products which are prohibited in advertisements.
Commitment to the controls of health or medicine advertisements contained in
the Cabinet’s decision No.04 of the year 2007 on health advertisements.
stipulated in Article 05 of the regulations on the conditions to be observed in
advertising and thus all advertising that does not comply with these conditions
will be considered contrary to this Article. These conditions are:
Advertisements should not be ambiguous or obscure or not have a clear
indication of its purpose.
Advertisements should not include or contain incorrect or misleading claims, or
intentionally exaggerate, claim exclusivity, show contempt of any rival as this
action comprises suspicion of fraud and deception.
Advertisements should not include imitated or unlawfully placed advertising
signs or signals, forged or fake pictures.
Advertisements must be real and not exaggerated and not lead to the creation of
confusion or a mixing up in any way with names, products, or other activities.
If the Arabic language is to be used in advertisements, it should be classical
Arabic or the Emirati local dialect.
Obtaining or getting prior approval from the competent authorities in all
matters relating to specialised advertisements, such as those related to
medicines and drugs, those related to food or business regarding promotional
campaigns, and special offers related to real estate, universities and
educational institutions, nurseries and alike.
The identify of advertisements should be clearly specified and appear distinct
and independent of the editorial material and other media, setting limits
separating advertising from any other material therein, or an intervening time
in the case of radio and television broadcasting.
prejudice to any sanctions or procedures set forth in the applicable laws, the
Council has the right to take any of the following actions if any
advertisements are found in violation:
Halt to advertising and issuance of an apology.
Order restitution for any damages resulting from the violation.
Request to close the facility, shop, business etc. for which the advertisement
Halt licenses for media sources for a duration that the council sees fit.
Cancel the license granted to the source of media.