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New Federal Law Regulating Media in the UAE

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New Federal Law Regulating Media in the UAE

In a move to elevate the status of the UAE as a global media hub, the government has issued a groundbreaking federal decree-law on media regulation. Al Kabban & Associates provides a comprehensive breakdown of this decree, offering insights into its implications for individuals, organizations, and media entities within the UAE.

Promoting a Thriving Media Sector: Objectives of the Federal Decree-Law

Effective immediately, the federal decree-law seeks to organize and regulate media activities, fostering an environment conducive to the growth and prosperity of the media sector in the UAE. These changes are a significant development to the regulatory framework in positioning the UAE as a leading player in the global media landscape.

Key Provisions of the Decree-Law: A Closer Look

The provisions of the decree apply to individuals, organizations, media outlets, and free zones dedicated to media within the UAE. Notably, it permits both individuals and legal entities to own media institutions and outlets, subject to specific regulations and conditions.

Media activities, as outlined in the decree, encompass a wide range, including the production, circulation, printing, and publishing of media content. This spans traditional forms like radio and television broadcasting, cinema movies, newspapers, and publications, as well as contemporary digital and electronic media activities.

Ensuring Compliance and Responsible Media Practices

To uphold national standards for media content, the decree mandates that media individuals and institutions must:

  • Respect divine, Islamic beliefs, and other religions and beliefs.
  • Respect the country’s sovereignty, symbols, and institutions, as well as its societal interests.
  • Adhere to the directions and policies of the country on local and international levels.
  • Avoid actions that may impact the UAE’s foreign relations negatively.
  • Uphold and respect the culture, civilization, national identity, and values of the UAE community.

Additionally, media entities are required to refrain from disseminating information that may compromise national unity, incite violence, propagate hatred, or undermine social cohesion.

Oversight and Regulations: UAE Media Council’s Role

The decree organizes the authorities of the UAE Media Council and local government entities responsible for regulating media affairs. The Council is empowered to issue permits for various media activities, including the screening of cinematographic and creative productions. It also defines classifications for the Media Content Rating System and determines suitable age groups for media consumption.

The UAE Media Council, in collaboration with competent authorities, will actively promote the protection of intellectual property among individuals, establishments, and media institutions in the UAE.

Compliance Period and Oversight Mechanisms

Individuals, organizations, and media outlets are granted a twelve-month period from the effective date of the decree to comply with its provisions. This compliance period can be extended by a Cabinet decision. The decree emphasizes that licensed individuals and media entities will be subject to oversight and supervision by the competent authority, allowing the Council to conduct surveillance and inspection.

Al Kabban & Associates: Guiding You Through Media Regulation Changes

As the UAE charts new territory in media regulation, Al Kabban & Associates stands ready to guide individuals and entities through these transformative changes. Stay compliant, stay informed, and navigate the evolving landscape of media regulation with confidence. Contact us today, and let our expert legal consultants and lawyers keep you up to date on all the latest developments in UAE laws


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