United Arab Emirates

Thanks to the oil boom, the United Arab Emirates became one of the richest countries in the world within a few decades, creating a new cultural paradise in Abu Dhabi. The most prominent example is the recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi.

What is considered cultural property in Iraq?

In the United Arab Emirates, antiquities are defined as follows:

  • Any instrument or building used or erected by human hands over 150 years ago.
  • Any inscription made by people more than 150 years ago.
  • Creatural remains older than 1,000 years.

What are the export regulations?

The export of antiquities generally requires a permit from the administration of the tourist information.

What sanctions are there?

Offenses such as theft of cultural assets, vandalism and destruction of archaeological sites, unauthorized excavations, illegal import and export of cultural property and wanton looting of archaeological sites are punishable by imprisonment not less than 2 years and your fine of at least one and not more than 10,000,000 dirhams.

Chronology of cultural property protection laws

  • 1970
    Antiquities Act No. 8 on Antiquities and Excavations
    Definition of cultural assets, illegal import and export of cultural property, sanctions
  • 1992
    Antiquities Act
    Export of antiquities, illegal marketing, vandalism. Damage to archaeological sites
  • 2017
    Antiquities Act and Act on the Immunity of Foreign Cultural Property from Seizure or Confiscation
    Definition of cultural assets as part of national identity, regulations on trade in cultural property, protection of archaeological sites, excavations, sanctions
  • 2017
    UNESCO Convention of 1970
    Measures to prohibit and prevent the unauthorised import, export and transfer of cultural heritage