United Arab Emirates Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from the United Arab Emirates’ black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

According to company officials, Japanese motor company Nissan losses about $60 Million each year to counterfeit auto parts in the United Arab Emirates. These fake car parts include brake pads, radiators, windscreens and other vehicle parts.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Baharain, Kuwait, Omanm, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the counterfeit auto parts market is estimated to be worth $2 Billion.

(See all information on fake auto parts.)

Source:  Tom Arnold, “Smuggling in the UAE: Counterfeit goods seeping into ports daily,” The National, May 17, 2014.

Security officials in Dubai reported that there were 1,419 cases of cyber crimes reported in the Emirate in 2013.

The number of cyber crime cases has been increasing over the past several years. In 2011, there were 588 cases of electronic crimes reported to police. In 2012, there were 792 cases of cyber crimes.

It was previously reported that up to $626 Million in economic value was lost to the United Arab Emirates due to cyber crime activities each year.

(See the prices of hackers and other online fraud activities.)

Source:  Dana Moukhallati, “Cyber crimes in Dubai nearly double in 2012,” National, April 28, 2014.

(All statistics about crime in the UAE.)

According to data from computer security firm Symantec, the actual amount of money lost in the United Arab Emirates to cyber crimes and hacking was $209 Million (770 Million UAE Dirham). If the total costs of expenses, time lost and lost of productivity were included, then the total loss to cyber crime in the UAE would be $626 Million (2.3 Billion UAE Dirham).

Criminal justice administrators in Dubai state that crimes involving mobile devices has increased in recent years. Top threats involving mobile phones include blackmail, where a user’s personal photos are held for ransom, and using Simboxes to dial international numbers and avoid long distance rates.

Source:  Caline Malek, “Technology causes an increase in Dubai mobile phone crime rates,” The National, January 21, 2014.


According to media reports, the price to buy a tablet of Captagon in Syria is between $5 to $20.

The market for Captagon in the Middle East has increased in recent years as the war in Syria has continued. Criminal justice officials believe that Syria produced the most Captagon tablets in 2013, surpassing Lebanon as the main producer of the amphetamine tablet in the Middle East.  Drug traders estimate that up to 90 percent of the production in Lebanon has decreased as the production moved into Syria.

(Methamphetamine facts about users and abuse.)

However, the trafficking of Captagon pills is still high in Lebanon. Security forces seized over 12.3 million pills in 2013, with most of the large busts taking place in areas near the border of Syria.

In May 2013, Turkish security seized 7 million Captagon pills that were on its way to Saudi Arabia, with Turkish security agencies stating that the pills were made in Syria.

In December 2013, police in Dubai seized a record 4.6 million Captagon pills.

Source:  Stephen Kalin, “Insight: War turns Syria into major amphetamines producer, consumer,” Reuters, January 12, 2013.

In the first six months of 2013, Dubai police arrested 19 people for human trafficking charges. During the same time period in 2012, police arrested 31 people.

According to data from the criminal justice system, there were 10 victims of human trafficking in the first half of 2013, compared to 18 victims in the first half of 2012.

(Prices of human trafficking victims sold.)

Source: “Human trafficking on the decline, say Dubai Police,” National, September 3, 2013.

A gold smuggler who brings gold from Dubai to India is paid $16.82 for each 10 gram of gold that is smuggled. The smugglers are able to receive double the amount if they bring cash back to the gold agents in Dubai.

In 2012, an estimated 102 tonnes of gold was illegally smuggled in India to avoid duties. The amount of gold was equal to 10 percent of total gold imports.

Source:  “Yellow fever: Smuggling emerges as big business yet again,” First Post, July 25, 2013.

According to the Imaging Supplies Coalition, manufactures and businesses involved in copiers and other imaging materials lose over $3 Billion a year around the world to counterfeit equipment.

In raids conducted in 2013, Xerox reported seizing over 55,000 boxes of counterfeit Xerox parts in China and Dubai.

Source:  “Xerox combats counterfeit supplies and parts; offers simple ways to validate authenticity,” Press Release, Al Bawaba, June 3, 2013.

Loan sharks in the United Arab Emirates charge borrowers up to 120 percent in interest rate per month.

The loans are primarily lent to Asian communities in the country, and are known as “the blade” due to the stranglehold that the lender has on the borrower.

Source:  “Victims of loan sharks told to ‘forget fear’ and report crimes to police,” 7 Days in Dubai, March 18, 2013.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare stated that it found 796 advertisements for live animals on the Internet during a four week time period. The 11 websites were offering big cats such as cheetahs, cougars, jaguars leopards Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers. The sellers claimed that the cubs are all “home-raised” and “accustomed to children”.

The animals were being sold for $217 (800 UAE Dirham).

(More endangered animals prices here.)

Source:  Collin Simpson, “Illegal wildlife trade is thriving on UAE websites,” National, February 12, 2013.

A professional executive search consultant in Dubai reported to the media that there is an increase in resumes filled with fake diplomas and degrees.

The head hunter stated that fake degrees are sold for up to $8,167 (30,000 UAE Dirham). The forgers fill out the grade point average, the degree and the year it was obtained based on the customer’s request.

Source:  Amanda Fisher, “Faking their way to the top,” Khaleej Times, January 22, 2013.