Dubai: The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has shut down 4,879 social media accounts and 30 websites for selling counterfeit commodities during the first half of this year.

The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection sector in DED announced that the accounts had 33.5 million followers, and the DED worked with the websites and the brand representatives to close the accounts.

The move is part of DED’s efforts to protect owners of brands and e-commerce from negative phenomena, thereby preserving Dubai’s leading position as a trade hub, known for its sustainability and competitiveness.

Ebrahim Behzad, director of Intellectual Property Rights Protection Management at DED, said: "Social networking accounts have come in handy for many who trade in counterfeit goods nowadays but the IPR team maintains tight vigil to prevent such misuse of modern technology and protect the reputation of Dubai as a competitive business hub."

He added: “Our team works for 24 hours to keep monitoring social networking sites and digital platforms used for promoting and selling fake goods and counterfeit commodities.”

Behzad pointed out that counterfeit items offered online include bags, perfumes, watches, accessories, cosmetic products and others. “We have closed shops and warehouses that were found to sell fake goods,” he added.

Behzad called on consumers not to bow to the temptations of these channels that promote counterfeit goods, which negatively affect the rights of traders as well as the health and safety of consumers. He urged the public to report these phenomena by calling 600545555 or via social media account “@dubai consumers” on Instagram and Twitter.