A brief look at SAA’s history

Sharjah Archaeology Authority was established in early 1986, initially under the name of “Sharjah Archaeology Authority & Heritage”. Its aim was to assume responsibility and provide protection for all archaeological and heritage sites within the territory of the Emirate of Sharjah. Other responsibilities included surveying, excavations and supervision of the work undertaken by the numerous foreign archaeological teams working in Sharjah.

The Law of Antiquities in the Emirate of Sharjah was legislated in 1992 by H. H. the Ruler of Sharjah, dealing with various aspects relating to archaeology and excavations in the Emirate.

Also during the year of 1992, the Directorate formed its own local archaeological team, headed by Dr. Sabah Abboud Jasim. This local team has since then been fully engaged in an intensive archaeological campaign throughout the Emirate of Sharjah, which has resulted in outstanding discoveries represented by monumental buildings and tombs together with a wealth of archaeological objects.

In 1995 the “Directorate of Heritage” was established to deal solely with heritage monuments, thus freeing the newly renamed “Sharjah Archaeology Authority” to take over and concentrate exclusively on the task of Sharjah’s archaeology projects.


The abundance and diversity of archaeological objects excavated over the past three decades prompted the establishment of modern dedicated facilities to showcase these discoveries. Thus the Sharjah Archaeology Museum was inaugurated on May 1997, and more recently an archaeology centre was established in January 2016 in the ancient city of Mleiha.


We, Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah, in accordance with that which is required by the public interest, issued the following law.