DUBAI 29 March 2019: More than 25 million fake items were seized by Dubai authorities in 2018 – worth an estimated Dh332 million.
The spread of fake consumer goods throughout the country and the wider region poses a threat to the consumers – even life-threatening as in case of fake car parts – and the economy, according to Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), and Middle East Intellectual Property Group of Japan (ME-IPG).
Masami Ando, Managing Director of Jetro Dubai, said, “Counterfeit products are a real problem. Consumers need to be more careful, and check for the quality of craftsmanship of any product when making everyday purchases.”
Making matters worse, global authorities project counterfeiting to reach a combined amount of US$1.82 trillion globally by 2020, said Wam.
For many leading Japanese brands operating in the UAE, the threat posed by counterfeit goods is a growing concern. With many ME-IPG members operating in key sectors most commonly targeted by counterfeiters, such as electronics, car parts, and automobile industries, protecting intellectual property rights is also an issue for these multi-national corporations.
Soichi Murakami, Chairman of ME-IPG and representative of the electronics industry, stated, “The UAE is a competitive regional hub for our electronics business, however fraudulent products are making it quite hard for consumers to identify which is real and which is fake. It might affect not only this region but also other regions such as Africa.”
By teaming up with Dubai authorities, such as Dubai Economy, Dubai Police and Dubai Customs, Jetro, and ME-IPG are working to raise awareness to inform unwary consumers in the UAE of the harmful circulation of fake products.
Colonel Omar Mohammad bin Hammad, Deputy Director Anti-Economic Crimes Department, Dubai Police, noted, “We seize an obscene amount of counterfeit products every year…Raising awareness is a proactive step forward and we fully support this move.”