Video Piracy Strangles Rental Business in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI — Residents purchasing pirated DVDs and VCDs could land in trouble if caught by authorities, as the Ministry of Economy has now intensified raids to curb piracy.

By Anwar Ahmad

Published: Sun 12 Apr 2009, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:14 AM

The sale of pirated DVDs and VCDs in the capital is hampering the business of authorised shopkeepers, at a time when they are already reeling under tremendous pressure from the market slump.

Illegal vendors offer three new or old movies, or their combination, in one DVD for just Dh10, while the original version costs around Dh65-70 for a Hindi movie, while a Hollywood film DVD costs over Dh100 to Dh200 or more. DVDs of some older films are available at lesser prices too but not as dirt-cheap as their pirated version.

According to a DVD shopkeeper, most of the people involved in pirated DVD and VCD business are from Asian countries. They visit villas and flats dragging a trolley bag full of of pirated DVDs and VCDs.

Mohammed Anoob, the owner of Capital Cassettes in Abu Dhabi said, “Our business went down around 30 per cent since last one year due to market slump and illegal vendors.”

Mohammed Fahim of Expo Video said, “Our business is not affected that much due to slowdown, but piracy has affected the trade and it must be curbed. We only offer genuine versions of movies after it is released from the production houses in other countries.”

The rental business forms the major portion of business for DVD and VCD shops. The Ministry of Economy is determined to wipe out video piracy and trade in pirated DVDs by carrying out random inspections.

In February, MoE confiscated some 4,000 pirated CDs from various parts of the county. Piracy in the UAE is regarded as one of the lowest in the region, due to the zero tolerance laws set in force and efforts exerted by the MoE and other federal and local entities to fight this crime, Mohammed Al Shihhi, Director General of the Ministry of Economy, said.

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