Dubai market shown clean pair of Christian Louboutin heels

The legal team at the luxury French designer found out knock-off versions of its famous red-soled shoes at Al Karama.

When the legal team at the luxury French designer Christian Louboutin found out knock-off versions of its famous red-soled shoes were readily on sale in Dubai’s Al Karama markets, they took action.

Enlisting the help of the local law firm Al Tamimi, the designer last year filed a complaint with the Dubai Department of Economic Development. It provided DED officials with samples of the fake shoes obtained from the market, along with the genuine versions for comparison.

Since then, DED has seized thousands of pairs of counterfeit items from across Dubai.

Christian Louboutin is just one of many brand owners activity seeking to push back against the tide of counterfeit goods in the UAE.

Many employ in-house inspectors or external investigators to monitor goods being sold across the UAE, especially in loosely regulated markets. Al Futtaim Group, the conglomerate which operates the Toyota franchise in the UAE, last month said over the past two years it had conducted 440 raids resulting in the confiscation and destruction of fake vehicle parts worth around Dh35 million. Working in conjunction with several law firms and the UAE Government, it said, fines totalling Dh350,000 had been handed out to the counterfeiters.

Multinationals tend to pool more of their resources in fighting illicit goods in China and other Asian countries, generally considered the workshop for the production of most knock-off goods. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says that more than two-thirds of counterfeit goods seized worldwide between 2008 and 2010 originated in China.

Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam were flagged as other major exporters of fake items, it says.

tarnold@thenational.ae

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Published: May 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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