Consequently, the number of seizures of IPR-infringing items carried out by Dubai Customs in 2015 was about 135 seizures, worth up to AED 16.8 million.
The Dubai Customs drive goes along with the UAE Innovation Year, which was declared by the Cabinet under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Innovation Year was also crowned by the leading initiatives to stimulate creativity and innovation launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The seized goods included electronics, watches, glasses, clothing, fabrics, perfumes and cosmetics, medicines and medical equipment, tires, auto spare parts, telephones and accessories, computers and other imports.
Saeed Ahmed Al Tayer, Executive Director of Policies and Legislation Division at Dubai Customs said: "Intellectual property rights protection gains double importance in the evolution course of our national economy at the current stage, particularly that the UAE has an orientation to focus on unleashing the spirit of creativity and innovation in government work and in society at large."
"Accordingly, we put the protection of intellectual property rights on top of our priorities at Dubai Customs, and are working to improve the level of our performance in dealing with counterfeit goods, by providing the best levels of training for staff and inspectors in the circuit, to enable them to detect counterfeiting and piracy efficiently, backed by the best innovations and technologies in the control and inspection field."
Al Tayer also stated: "Dubai Customs efforts in the area of protection of intellectual property rights is not limited to addressing the smuggling of counterfeit goods through Customs ports, but also includes parallel awareness-raising efforts for DC staff and staff of local, federal, and GCC government agencies, as well as many community groups to publicize the importance of intellectual property rights and the risks resulting from the consumption of counterfeit materials on health, the economy and society.
"In this context, we sustained our efforts in 2015 to work on spreading the culture of protection of intellectual property in the community to promote public engagement in addressing counterfeit goods. We have organized lectures to all segments of society on IPR protection and the dangers of counterfeit goods. Hence, the number of awareness-raising events organized by the department for different groups in the last year reached 31 events, with 10181 beneficiaries.
"During 2015, the department has also organized, in cooperation with our partners in the private sector and owners of international brands in the world's major companies, five workshops to train staff and inspectors to detect counterfeit goods; attended by 184 participants from Customs agencies, ministries and government institutions in the UAE and friendly nations in the GCC."
He pointed out that in 2015 Dubai Customs honored Lt. General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, who is also honorary chairman of Emirates Intellectual Property Association for his outstanding efforts and major role in spreading the culture of the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in the community.
Yousef Ozair Mubarak, director of the IPR Department at Dubai Customs, said, that Dubai Customs attaches great importance to the dissemination of intellectual property rights culture among the new generations. In this regard, the Department has launched, since 2007, the Intellectual Property Award for Schools and Universities, to inform and educate students about intellectual property rights.
Since its inception and until the session of the school year 2014- 2015, the number of schools and universities that participated in the Dubai Customs IPR Award’s five categories has increased to more than 110 schools and 13 universities. The ninth session of the Award for the academic year 2015 – 2016 has been launched, focusing on linking the protection of intellectual property rights with stimulating creativity and innovation, to keep pace with the UAE wise leadership initiatives to spread the culture of innovation in the community.