Dubai to detect counterfeit goods using AI technology

Developed by US company Entrupy, the device will help uncover fake items in shops, says Department of Economic Development

General view of Dubai from Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 17, 2019. Picture taken July 17, 2019. REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed
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The Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) is using a new technology that relies on artificial intelligence to identify counterfeit luxury goods in Dubai.

Developed by US company Entrupy, the technology will help detect counterfeit goods sold across shops in Dubai, DED said on Sunday.

DED will be the first government entity in the UAE and wider region to adopt AI solutions to fight counterfeit activities, according to Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, chief executive of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection in DED.

"The new technology helps to increase the accuracy in confiscations and save time and effort during field inspections, thereby enhancing happiness and productivity among our employees."

With the new device, an inspector can detect counterfeit products with high speed and accuracy, thereby eliminating time-consuming communication and verification with trademark representatives.

Fake goods worth Dh332 million were seized and destroyed by Dubai authorities in 2018. DED said a total of 19.9 million counterfeit items were confiscated from traders in the emirate last year. The value of fake items recovered by authorities is down compared to figures from 2016, when DED said it had recovered goods worth Dh1.6 billion.

Entrupy's AI device is linked to a vast database comprising thousands of microscopic images of branded goods, such as leather products, watches, accessories and clothing. The company will add more branded items to its interface in co-ordination with Dubai Economy by the end of 2019.

Mr Lootah said DED will not tolerate any kind of commercial fraud and called on consumers to report any such activity that may come to their attention by using the Dubai Consumer app.

"We seek to regulate the relationship between the merchant and consumer as it is important to Dubai’s reputation as a business hub,” said Mr Lootah. “The new technology will make brand owners more confident of their rights being protected in Dubai.”