With its rise to become a globally active nation, Qatar is increasingly involved in the cultural sector. Impressive museum buildings with impressive collections of international renown testify to this special commitment

What is considered cultural property in Qatar

Antiquities are monuments of various civilizations, ruins of past generations and movable or immovable finds related to art, science, ethics, morality, everyday life and public events or otherwise related to a history of at least forty years of artistic or historical value.

What sanctions are there?

The export of antiquities is strictly prohibited. However, movable antiquities may be exported under a decision of the Board of Trustees of the Qatar Museum Authority (QMA) if the export does not affect the archaeological or artistic heritage of Qatar. Qatar also provides for import controls on cultural assets in accordance with Article 29

What sanctions are there?

In case of violations of the export ban or excavation prohibitions, a prison sentence of up to three years and/or a fine of up to 10,000 riyals may be imposed.

Chronology of cultural property protection laws

  • 1973
    The Hague Convention of 1954
    Protection of the cultural property of countries in the event of armed conflict
  • 1977
    UNESCO 1970 Convention
    Means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property
  • 1980
    Antiquities Act No. 2
    Definition of antiquities, establishment of Qatar Museum Authority, regulation of excavations, determination of penalties
  • 2000
    Hague Convention, Second Protocol of 1999
    Clarification and extension of the 1954 Hague Convention
  • 2010
    Act No 23 amending certain provisions of Act No 2 of 1980
    Definition of the tasks of the museum authority and its employees, prohibitions