top of page

UAE Government Implements Decree-Law to Regulate Media Activities and Foster Global Media Hub Status

In a strategic move to organize and enhance its media landscape, the UAE Government has issued a comprehensive federal decree-law aimed at regulating media activities within the country. This initiative seeks to position the UAE as a global media hub, fostering an environment conducive to the growth and prosperity of the media sector.

The decree's provisions extend to individuals, organizations, media outlets, and free zones dedicated to media in the UAE. A noteworthy aspect of the legislation is its allowance for both individuals and legal entities to own media institutions and outlets, subject to specific regulations and conditions.

Media activities, as defined by the decree, encompass a broad spectrum, including the production, circulation, printing, and publishing of media content. This spans audio, video, and digital broadcasting, whether at a cost or free of charge.

The decree addresses the issuance and oversight of licenses and permits for various media activities, covering radio and television broadcasting, cinema, newspapers, digital and electronic media, book fairs, foreign publications, foreign media offices, printing, circulating, publishing media content, and aerial, ground, and maritime imaging operations.

Crucially, the legislation organizes the authorities of the UAE Media Council and local government entities responsible for regulating media affairs. It mandates compliance with national standards for media content, emphasizing respect for religious beliefs, national sovereignty, symbols, institutions, and the supreme interests of the UAE.

Media outlets and individuals operating within the UAE must adhere to guidelines such as avoiding actions that may impact the country's foreign relations, respecting cultural values, and refraining from disseminating information that may compromise national unity or incite violence.

The UAE Media Council, established by the decree, holds responsibilities ranging from issuing permits for cinematographic and creative productions to defining classifications for the Media Content Rating System. The Council will also determine suitable age groups for consuming media and entertainment content.

Licensed individuals and media outlets are subject to oversight and supervision by the competent authority, empowering the Council to conduct surveillance and inspection, including within free zones. Additionally, the legislation emphasizes the promotion of intellectual property protection in collaboration with competent authorities.

In a demonstration of flexibility, the decree-law grants individuals, organizations, and media outlets a twelve-month compliance period from the effective date of its provisions, extendable by a Cabinet decision. This transitional period allows entities to align with the new regulatory framework and contribute to the continued evolution of the UAE's media landscape.



bottom of page