NMC Approval in the UAE

Your Guide to Get an Approval from the National Media Council in the UAE

by Zaara 19, Nov 2018

The UAE has been the most sought-after nation for investment, tourism, business setup, cinema and many more. It is also the most attractive destination in the Middle-East for media publication. There are a number of newspapers and magazines in the UAE that are read by more than 60% population of the country.

The number of readers is quite impressive due to which the newspaper and magazine publishing business is booming in the market. Simply put, the market is thriving and the customers are in search of fresh content.

But, one cannot simply start their publication house in the UAE. The first and the foremost thing that an individual who wants to start their publication house has to do is, get the National Media Council (NMC) approval. National Media Council UAE is a federation institution, established in 2006, that promotes and supports all media-related initiatives and activities in the country. Their main aim is to provide an integrated regulatory environment conducive to the development of the media sector in the UAE, highlighting the UAE accomplishments in media both nationally and internationally and ensuring that all administration services are delivered with high quality, efficiency, and transparency.

This article is dedicated towards the essential steps you have to take to get the approval from the National Media Council for your publication house.

How to Get an NMC Approval?

Before applying for the approval, you must be aware of certain laws set by the UAE government wherein the publication of certain types of material are not permitted in the country. The law also requires the owner of publication, a person in charge and the chief editor to have the UAE residency visa. Failing to comply could land you with a fine of up to AED 5,000, or even a prison sentence.

The important steps one has to take for the NMC Dubai approval are as follows:

1. Do the Needful Before Applying

Before you start with the application there are certain prerequisites to be met:

  • As mentioned above, the important members of the publication house must have the UAE residency visa
  • The owner must be at least 25 years old
  • You should not have served a prison sentence in the past
  • The visa package companies who have the immigration card are eligible to apply for NMC
  • Your trade license that is acquired during the registration process must specify the publishing activity

2. Set Up Your Business in a Free Zone

Many of the free zones in the UAE are dedicated to the media and offer many benefits as compared to mainland and offshore for your business. The free zones in the UAE dedicated to media are:

3. Request a Letter from the Free Zone for NMC

Once you set your publishing house in any of the free zones, the authorities will write a letter to the NMC mentioning that you have opened an office in their premises. Along with the letter, you must provide a copy of trade license, an NMC application form, and declaration of the publishing activity form signed by the owners.

4. Provide Necessary Details of the Magazine

After the letter attached with documents is sent, the next step is to provide the necessary details about the magazine to the National Media Council Dubai. It includes a description of what you publish, your target audience, and the theme of the magazine. Along with it include editor’s column, the language of the magazine, and information of the frequency of the issue. You will have to provide three dummy copies of the magazine to the NMC authorities as well.

5. Submit the Details of Publisher and Key Staff

You have to provide all the details of the owner of the company and your editor in chief. The documents required for this are:

  • Passport copy of each owner
  • Copy of visa page
  • Emirates ID copy of the editor
  • Education certificate
  • Evidence that the editor has at least one year of experience in this field

6. Provide Contact Details

Along with your application, you will also need to share other details about your UAE publication. It includes a website address for the magazine, contact number of all the owners of the company and the person in charge, licensing requirements and licensee obligations should be signed and stamped by the person in charge.

The UAE has become an exciting market for the publishers and setting up a company in the UAE has never been easier. The demand for fresh content to the audience of different interests is what makes the UAE the preferable country for starting a publication house. As the article provides you with information on NMC approval, it can be quite hard for an expat to deal with the bureaucracy. And Commitbiz can help you with all the legal requirements and make this process hassle-free for you. Contact us today and we will help you solve all your queries.


When was the National Media Council UAE established?

It was established in the year 2006.

2What is the aim of the National Media Council (NMC) in the UAE?

Their main goal is to create an integrated regulatory environment that promotes the development of the UAE's media sector, while also highlighting the country's achievements in the field of media on a national and international level and ensuring that all administration services are delivered with high quality, efficiency, and transparency.

Which members of the publication house must have a UAE Residency Visa?

The Chief Editor, the Owner, and the person in charge must have a residency VISA.

What should be the minimum age of the owner of the publication in UAE to seek the NMC approval?

The owner should be at least 25 years to get the approval.

Does a copy of the Visa page of the members of the publication house required to submit in UAE’s NMC?

Yes, the Chief Editor and the Owner must submit a copy of their VISA page.