Cameras and Photography banned in Kuwait?

Post by Mark

It seems the ministry has banned the use of DSLR cameras (pictured above) in public places, streets and malls. You can take pictures with regular camera’s and camera phones but not with DSLR’s? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard.

I mean seriously whats the difference between a DSLR and Point & Shoot? Both can take pictures and both can have zoom lenses. Why ban the use of DSLR’s in public and not Point & Shoot cameras? I am not saying they should ban P&S cameras I’m just trying to highlight how ridiculous this new law is.

Maybe if someone from the ministry takes a few moments to go to and search for the word Kuwait they can see exactly the kind of talented work they will be killing with this law. Maybe then they will realize how big a mistake this is.

You can read more about this on Kuwait Times [Here]

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78 comments, add your own...

  1. Mathai says:

    I read the article this evening and for a minute couldn’t believe my eyes! Funny thing is how its directed at SLR shooters. :P

  2. salah says:

    kuwait times credibility near zero, not true

  3. Desert Girl says:

    Seriously – can they get any more retarded???

  4. Ramez says:

    how about using BB & iphone or even new nokia phones with 12 MP built in cameras? and also these built in cameras or normal digital cams has much more zoom than the SLR’s

  5. Thyro says:

    If this is true, I honestly have to say that the ministries have too much time on their hands, and are nit-picking on random things, Hey ! Lets ban gutra and e3gal and see what the ppl will do yay!

  6. شاي سنقيم says:

    because there has been people caught ( most of them non-Kuwaitis ) seen taken photos for sensitive places because of the new technology zoom in DSLR cameras . The area are boiling because of the Iranian situation .

    the banned include Kuwaitis ..

  7. Cococabana says:

    Any1 interested in D3s?

  8. nahin123 says:

    Yeah keep dreaming !! Smells like bullshit to me..
    And Mark you’re right there are so many talented photographers in Kuwait
    BOGUS news and i dont believe a single bit of it !!
    Should have posted this to 248pm instead

  9. Ramez says:

    @ شاي سنقيم
    with mobile phone cameras you can get better shots than the SLR .. and also you need a telezoom lens to get such pics like 50-500 for example, and also it wont be that good image.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ahh bullshit

  11. j3k2 says:

    What’s goin on Kuwait? Is this really true? can someone confirm the veracity of this news?

    I just came from a photo shoot in Wafra! whoa! Did that made me a criminal already?

  12. Diwaan says:

    Are they serious? what the hell is wrong with them? I mean they should not put this law! Photography is a hobby, so by banning someone’s hobby such as photography and not banning any other hobby sounds unfair! They should respect Kuwaiti people and support them instead of banning. It sounds ridiculous actually and im so againest this law !

  13. TroyW says:

    So they’ll be confiscating the tourists cameras at the airport as well as their booze…?


  14. DarkWolf80s says:

    If this is true; then I propose a protest. Grabbing a group of photographers with DSLR cameras and shooting in a public place together or in front of the parliament. This is by far unacceptable.

  15. Kathink says:

    I have only lived in Kuwait for one and a half
    month but the rate things are changing ( or should I say getting banned) is seriously worrying! What is next or should I not say this incase it ‘wakes up sleeping dogs’?…..

  16. Burhan says:

    This is right up there with the ban on the color red and flowers on Feb. 14th.

    Glad to see government spending is going towards the public welfare.

  17. cosmonaut says:

    *places order on dslr on amazon* FIGHT THE POWER!!

  18. superfailz says:

    i was actually tempted once to moon a photographer cuz she wouldn’t stop harassing my dog

  19. Clinton Jeff says:

    Wait, so does this mean they’ll confiscate DSLR’s at the Airport or anything? Because I was going to bring mine along on my Christmas trip back to Kuwait.

    Totally lame rule imho.

  20. jay says:

    nice rules…for a no mind!!!

  21. 3azeez says:

    This is confusing. Since when is photography banned? I think its misunderstanding by all of the involved parties…

    the Ministry of Information probably banned recording of journalistic recording that aims to be broadcasted on tv (since now we have many local tv channels) without seeking prior permission from the authorities.

    apparently, the innitial ban by the ministry did not specify what kind of photography or video recording is banned.. this resulted in stopping of tourists in old souqs and almost everywhere and not allowing them to take pictures even with their point and shoot cameras.

    since this is Kuwait , the solution to this problem was by simply distinguishing the media from individuals by saying point and shoot cameras are allowed but SLRS are not!

  22. sallom says:

    What the F***!? where will I use my 7D that is held at customs now :@

  23. vampire says:

    i don’t believe this sh!t

  24. Danderma says:


    no seriously… the only comment i can have towards this demeaning, disgusting, insulting, backwards, delusional, disrespectful news is one big fat wee3

    thank god my canon 500D lens broke yesterday. No need to fix it or buy another one in Q8… araf

  25. moayad says:

    I wouldn’t count on Kuwait Times as a source. If there really was a ban then we should’ve heard about it already.

    On the other hand, Saudi Arabia “lift” the ban on photography recently, so Kuwait forcing a ban is a bit illogical.

  26. says:

    enough proof that the decision was taken by someone who doesnt know shi#t about cameras and thinks dslr are weapons.

    welcome to the dark ages everybody !

  27. sallom says:

    lets make a move towards it or something!!.. I’ve seen people shooting girls randomly in redbull flugtag.. but that doesn’t mean everyone does it, if that is a reason for banning DSLR’s..

  28. Ozy says:

    Kuwait is so dumb sometimes.

  29. nahin123 says:

    Even if everyone does it what’s the harm ??? NOTHING !!!
    Nobody is going to abide this law and everyone will live happily ever after !!

  30. lloyd says:

    and so we take another step towards the medieval times….

  31. Bu Yousef says:

    I don’t trust anything the papers say anymore… Kuwait Times is the rule more often than the exception.

    I hope this turns out to be BS.

  32. Thyro says:


    Atleast Medieval times had cool sword fights and castles ^.^ and knights!

  33. Hilaliya says:

    If this is true – Kuwait Times isn’t exactly The National – then we are regressing faster than we anticipated. If the country is worried about agents it should do proper CCTV everywhere like Dubai instead of banning objects. 

    But as usual they don’t invest and when they do it’s bargain basement stuff. It’s just easier to ban than to work. 

  34. Keith says:

    Click…! They ain’t stopping me :)

  35. Babbleq8 says:

    I read it on another website, can’t actually remember which one but yeah, it does seem legitimate. It’s said basically only journalists would be permitted to take photos………….

  36. morwas says:

    i think your taking this too seriously and mark your making to big a deal out of this if you use this camera how would anyone know that this one is banned. i mean if anyone asks just tell them no this isnt the one thats banned its not that hard ;)

  37. Nael says:

    Alright, so I was planning to come to Kuwait sometime during the spring of next year to visit my family, I was also planning to bring my camera bag including my DSLR, three lenses and my on board flash, basically the complete set! Are you saying that I can’t do this now??!!
    I was planning to take family shots but also go on photo walks and what not!

  38. Nael says:


    Unless the security/policeman who’s asking you is ignorant and doesn’t know how to distinguish between a DSLR an a P&S. Your suggestion should work.

  39. BO 7WAJEB says:

    i just my dslr camera and i didnt reseived it
    and about this is from kuwait times idont think it is real sourse and any one can get a pass for photographing :)

  40. omar says:

    Fire provides us with warmth; but if you touch it you’ll burn yourself. The solution to this problem is not to put the fire out, but it is not to touch the fire. Rather than banning SLRs they should have regulator rules. For example if you want to take a picture of a person you need their written conscent.

    And if this is true then those who want to take pictures of specific people they will still be able to do so. You can always connect your camera to a telescope and take pictures from a remote place. What about spy cameras? You can take pictures of individuals without them knowing; hidding the camera in places they wouldn’t expect; you can have them in watches, pens, buttons…nearly everywhere !

  41. PedroDashT says:

    The perfect time for people to buy the leica i am selling in the selling section :P

  42. bazaar says:

    It doesnt even matter if the news is correct or not, or going to be implemented or not, or how it might be implemented.

    The very fact that the idea is being discussed at some government level in one way or another is just ridiculous and totally absurd!

  43. jo says:

    how they going to police it huh? the cant police the roads with wacky driver, the cant police the littering, the cat police the mobile phones while driving… really even if it is true they cant organise the laws effectivly

  44. StuckInThe80's says:

    Maybe they made the decision after viewing the horrendous amount of poor and relentless HDR attempts taken by Kuwaiti members on photo sharing sites.

  45. mansoon says:

    Hope DSLR prices will slash lol

  46. BrownSlugger says:

    why are you surprised? remember this kuwait, and only in kuwait lolz

  47. Karim says:

    just came back from my vacation with my Nikon d3000 and 2 lenses ( 18 – 55 mm and 55 – 200 mm )
    nothing happened at the airport.

    guess i was lucky !

  48. zaydoun says:

    As I said elsewhere.. Banning stuff is just so much easier… it requires no thought whatsoever. Not that these people ever had brains in the first place

  49. mo says:

    @ شاي سنقيم
    dude plz just take min before typing any thing what about Google earth ( sensitive places )

  50. vvvvwww says:

    When someone don’t know about work hi start care about simple staff.
    In the all world journalism get best picture from freelancer photographer. So if the ban DSLR cameras block all photo in newspaper and you will see how worst that can be, imagine newspaper with no photo.

  51. ariston says:

    Watch out Mark! the ‘what people are selling’ section in the forum will be flooded with DSLRs… :)

  52. H says:

    Mark, check this out, you might wanna add it to the post.

  53. KIBOR says:

    First of all, they have to publish the law so that guys like us wont be ignorant about it. We should know the Law first before breaking it :) Second, Define what do they mean by “public places” and does it mean that i will got arrested if they see my DSLR hanging on my neck even if I’m not shooting? There are already existing rules about prohibiting taking pictures on restricted areas, and i think banning DSLR is like banning self expressions… Honestly, my DSLR is the only thing making me sane here in q8.

  54. q8expat says:

    We are going to have a after-market products for the covers that make the DSLR’s look like point and shoot.


    Maybe we should just hold up the SLR like a point and shoot..

  55. Summer says:

    Omg!! If this law is true I will hate the ministry forever! Are u sure it’s not a rumor?


  56. شاي سنقيم says:

    Google earth does not take shots for VIP getting in or out from a place .

    at least the ministry is not touching your ” junk ” ..

  57. sidaut says:

    heard that next year anyone can come to kuwait without sponsors. so there will be tourist visa. Is this a way to attract more visitors? They should write down in the visa : “taking pictures in kuwait is against the law”

  58. Super cow says:

    They’ll be banning door knobs later. :)
    Oh and Pillows! :)

  59. Super cow says:

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHH I GOT AN IDEA! Lets all get our cameras and meet in a public place and take pictures!! Even if they try to throw us in jail. I’m pretty sure jail cells wont fit all of us :D

  60. Rami says:

    I was stopped by a security in The Avenue Mall about 2-3 weeks ago while taking picture of my kids… Wasn’t aware this new rule, I talked back to him: Where is there announced that taking pics is banned? if not then dont disturb me! He was mad coz an Asian like me dare to talk like that to him but i gave a f***! He said to me that if i dont put the camera (mine is D500) in the bag he will take it. I was mad too and told him: I dare u to take it! then he said he will call police:)) My Ghosh! and what will u tell the police? that I take picture of my kids? he couldnt open his mouth after all that lol

  61. Longhorn In Kuwait says:

    So I guess they won’t any more photography contestsout in public?

  62. Truth says:

    This is another way for the ministries to keep their people ignorant. Soon enough they’ll be banning blogs such as this for criticizing their decisions.

  63. JohnSmith says:

    Dear Kuwait, Im a PHOTOGRAPHER not a TERRORIST !!!

  64. Longhorn In Kuwait says:

    So they are thinking about legalising alcohol again here, where they even drive when they are sober, but ban SLR cameras. You would think it would be the other way around. Point n shoots are more concealable and people can be more sneaky using them, but people using a SLR like myself have to put ours away because we are noticeable when using them! Hahahahahaaha say good-bye to future tourism, since that is what they tryin to turn to in the near future!

  65. Yousuf M says:

    Ah i was jealous of mark getting the GF1. Guess this is the right time to buy micro-4/3rds :P

  66. Othman Al-Othman says:

    I wonder if my Sony Nex-5 would be banned? It looks just like a P&S with a huge lens lol

  67. Tiger says:

    Meh, this is just your average Tuesday in a conservative Muslim country.

  68. Gilbert says:

    Anyone wanna sell their cameras? lol

  69. Big Papa says:

    I was surprised before when everybody “the bloggers, camera fools, and pro photograghers” were able to take pictures in kuwait and in public, coz i did try to take pictures long time ago since Souq Sharq was THE AVENUES of that era, a security guy came up and told me not to take pictures in public, as it is not allowed and its for security reasons. I was like ohhh okay! since its “KUWAIT” everything is Mamnu3. But iam not at all surprised with this news SHOCKER. Go Take pictures in Muscat, UAE and else where, leave kuwait alone.

  70. Aloooy says:

    i mean .. c’moon .. i’m a photographer, and i know what pulls me right down to take some shots of .. i hate landscape .. so what else i’m gonna do with my camera rather than taking shots inside my house !!!
    it’s so ironic .. that they sell cigarettes and they allow people to smoke in some places while they know IT’S NOT HEALTHY .. what’s not healthy in DSLR’s !!!?? :) .. laws are being stupider day after day ..

  71. Najeeb says:

    We just tulking With our coverment and parlaman and the rest of people want us to be in the dark ages we must stop them
    I ask all who have this camera to gather with ther camera to show them we are not obay any non logic low or roles
    We are not controlled by a minster degree there is a low and constitution
    Let us show thim we can say NO

  72. D. says:

    But…If they aren’t making stupid laws, they may actually have to turn their attention to all the REAL problems they’re pretending don’t exist. We can’t be so ridiculous as to expect THAT!

  73. Xyro says:

    Bottom line:Civil rights violation.
    Go protest!

  74. X says:

    They should encourage people to be creative, not go backwards and embarrass themselves.. if this is about guys bothering girls then thats surely not going to stop it and is another story!!!! its the stupidest law i have ever heard of!.. there are more important things to take care off in Kuwait than banning digital SLR cameras.. if the “act” cant be seen in public than dont worry its only going to encourage people to doing shit indoors, and Kuwait will continue to deny and walk blindly around everything that happens underground!!.. we are curious human beings, open to experience and interaction. Photography is not a crime – on the contrary there are many talented amateur photographers out there living in kuwait.. not everyone wants to photograph animal and landscape.. -ME especially being a kuwaiti photographer myself studying abroad for the time being and in the mindset of coming back and fostering creativity amongst very talented kuwaiti people… what happened to kuwait being known for its need of unity within its community? a pluralist notion of society? where are those emotions? All kuwait is doing is chasing out all the educated, curious, talented, carefree people!

  75. boska says:

    they should banned stupid drivers not cameras. they are more dangerous then photographers!

  76. AnimalCop says:

    who said they weren’t thinking of shutting blogs down – big brother is always watching.. 7emdellah wel sheker, trying to keep people in the dark is sooo middle ages. but nothing will shut minds

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