The National Media Council (NMC) has launched an initiative to support Emirati publishers and authors, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Media and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture.
NMC Acting Director-General, His Excellency Mansour Al Mansouri, made the announcement as he spoke at a session – titled "Engaging with Publishers" – on day two of the Dubai International Publishing Conference (DIPC), held at InterContinental Dubai, Festival City, on March 5-6, 2017.
H.E. Al Mansouri called for developing the publishing sector in the UAE to help advance the National Reading Strategy, which is scheduled to go on until the year 2026, and to establish reading as a social custom, adding that the National Media Council is working to develop the legislative and regulatory infrastructure for this strategic sector.
The Council is implementing sweeping reforms to improve and automate its services. To that end, an electronic indexing project is in the pipeline; it is designed to grant publishers access to books that have already been awarded electronic trading permits (meaning they will no longer need to apply for these permits with the Council). Once the NMC's services are fully automated, publishers will be able to apply for licenses and permits without visiting the Council's offices.
The Council is also working to establish a system for classifying publications according to their publication date, as well as to set standards for media, advertising, and content creation activities. These measures guarantee that the UAE's religious, cultural, and social norms are respected, all the while safeguarding freedom of expression.
The National Media Council is a federal government body mandated with developing and regulating an integrated national media structure and to advance the UAE's position and role in the international media sector. In 2016, the Council issued 40,000 book trading permits, which is an average of 173 books per workday. Additionally, the NMC awarded 1,480 print permits last year, compared to only 1,170 in 2015.