– Copyright Law No. 32 of the year 2006, amending the Federal Law No. 7 of the year 2002.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since September 24, 1974.
– WTO's TRIPS Agreement, since April 10, 1996.
– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, since July 14, 2004.
– WIPO Copyright Treaty, since July 14, 2004.
– Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, since January 14, 2005.
– WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, since June 9, 2005.
– Marrakesh Treaty, since September 30, 2016.
– Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, since April 28, 2020.

Filing and Protection

Territories covered: the whole of the United Arab Emirates, which comprises the Emirates (States) of Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah and Umm Al-Quwain.

Authority: Copyright Department, Ministry of Economy.

What can be protected: original intellectual works of art in literature, arts and science no matter what their value, type, purpose of creation or manner of expression is. They include books, lectures speeches, dramatic and dramatico-musical works, musical works, choreographic works and pantomimes, photographic works of art, cinematographic, televisional, radiophonic and original audio-visual works and software, works of applied art, works of painting and drawing by lines of colors and architecture, encyclopedias, and so on.

Computer software: is protected.

Not subject of protection: laws and decisions of courts and of administrative bodies, international agreements, news items published, broadcast or announced to the public.

Scope of registration: registration with the competent authority is optional, but a registration shall be regarded as the authoritative reference to copyright information. Non-registration shall not entail infringing upon the author’s right.

Translations of original works: are also protected.

Validity: for the lifetime of the author plus fifty years after his death. The validity period for cinematographic films, works of applied art, works made by corporate bodies, works of art published under pen names, and works published for the first time after the author’s death is similarly for fifty years.

Tolerated use of protectable works: legal use of copyrighted works without obtaining an authorization from the author is allowed in the following cases: (a) using of the work of art for the user’s private or personal purposes; (b) utilizing the work by way of illustration or explication; (c) quoting paragraphs from a work of art for the purpose of illustration and explication; (d) reproducing protectable works of art by means of photocopying without obtaining the author’s permission by public libraries, non-commercial documentation centers, educational institutions, cultural and scientific institutions, provided that the number of copies so reproduced is limited to their needs and not detrimental to the interests of the author.

Compulsory publication: the Minister has the right to publish a work of art if the author’s heirs neglect to publish the work despite a notification to this effect.

Collective works: equal rights granted to all individuals who take part in a joint work; no single participant is entitled to exercise his right without the collective approval of all partners.

Moral rights: separately belongs to the author when the work of art is owned by a natural person or a corporate body.

Approval: the work of art proposed for registration should be authorized by the Censorship Department and be one of the works of art permitted by the Publications and Press Law.

Penalties: an unauthorized publication of an author’s work of art shall be penalized by imprisonment and a fine not less than 50,000 Dirhams or either penalty. A publisher who contravenes the author’s instructions through unauthorized addition, omission or modification shall be punished by imprisonment or a fine not less than 10,000 Dirhams or by either penalty.

Enforcing authority: the officers with judicial police powers selected on the strength of a decision by the Minister of Justice in coordination with the Minister of Information and Culture.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. The author’s name or authors’ names for joint works;
2. The topic of the work of art;
3. Copy of the work on three CDs;
4. A detailed statement on the work’s specifications;
5. A written statement by the author/designer waiving his or their rights in the work to the applicant if the author/designer is not the applicant (to be legalized);
6. Identification documents of the applicant (i.e. copy of passport or trade license);
7. Legalized power of attorney in the name of the owner.