Dubai 23 January 2023: H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai
Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, confirmed the continuous
growth of the United Arab Emirates' role as a global trade hub and its influential position
in the world economy. He highlighted the significance of the “Economic Principles of the
UAE” document approved by the UAE government, emphasizing its role as a guide for
achieving worldwide Emirati leadership and establishing a sustainable national
economy. The UAE serves as a free and open economic model that enthusiastically
embraces international and regional economic and trade collaboration without
limitations, acting as a catalyst for foreign trade growth.
He noted that Dubai Customs actively supports the strategic plans of the UAE and
Dubai, achieving a remarkable performance in 2023 by successfully processing over
30.4 million customs transactions. This set a new record for the highest number of
customs transactions handled by Dubai Customs, showcasing a 17.5% growth
compared to the 25.8 million transactions in 2022. This success is attributed to the
ongoing success of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements program
launched in September 2021. Customer satisfaction for these electronic and intelligent
customs services reached an impressive 98%, available 24/7. On average, Dubai
Customs processes 84,000 daily customs transactions through its programs and
Regarding the Dubai agenda, Musabih clarified that Dubai Customs aims to establish
and strengthen connections with Dubai's business partners while attracting new
collaborators to fulfill the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This effort contributes to
achieving the targets outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), with the goal of
increasing the total volume of foreign trade from AED 14.2 trillion in the past decade to
AED 25.6 trillion for goods and services in the next decade. Furthermore, the objective is
to add 400 cities to the map of foreign trade by 2033. In this context, Dubai Customs has
held numerous meetings with partners, clients, diplomatic entities, and business councils
of countries as trade partners. The discussions focused on frameworks to enhance the
value of trade exchange, aligning with the UAE's goals for 2031 and the Dubai Economic
Dubai Customs has introduced digital initiatives and services to expedite business
processes and strengthen Dubai's global trade hub status. The "Cargo StatusTracking"
project offers customers an outstanding experience by enabling them to monitor
shipments from arrival to release, providing real-time oversight and comprehensive
insight into customs clearance across Dubai's borders. This project aims to boost
efficiency, cut costs for customs authorities and traders, and support increased returns
for businesses choosing Dubai as their operational base.
This initiative empowers customers to take swift actions based on shipment status,
offering rapid support to over 200,000 clients, including importers, customs brokers,
shipping companies, and transport firms. It enhances transparency in the cargo
clearance process, contributing to heightened customer satisfaction and striving to
reduce the annual volume of inquiries to the call center regarding shipments, currently
totaling 55,000 calls.
Furthermore, the “Post Audit Robotic Process Automation (PCA-RPA)" initiative is a
groundbreaking project designed to automate customs audit operations through AI-
driven robots. These robots extract, categorize, verify, and identify potential risks from
shipment-related documents. The automation of auditor decisions across various cases
is anticipated to cultivate new strategic capabilities focused on analysis, risk
management, and decision-making. The project aims to achieve 100% coverage for
audits of completed customs declarations in Dubai Customs annually, particularly for
high-value goods, categories, and customs situations, within the next five years.
In collaboration with the Dubai Government's Finance Department, Dubai Customs has
automated notifications for customs-imported transactions subject to tax between
government entities. This initiative aids in generating precise tax reports and reduces
discrepancies in transactions. Additionally, the government department has integrated
customs clearance systems with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International
Cooperation's electronic document authentication system. This simplifies interactions for
stakeholders, requiring them to input the electronic document authentication reference
number issued by the Ministry when organizing the customs declaration for import or re-
export. If authentication fees are settled before completing the customs declaration, the
reference number is necessary in the electronic customs systems.
Dubai Customs has achieved the distinction of being the first Arab and global institution,
outside the United Kingdom, to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the Idea UK
Organization. In the Ideas UK Awards 2023 ceremony, the government department
excelled by securing the first position for the innovation of the smart bag and the second
position in the Innovation category for the creation of the large vehicle scanner.
Moreover, it maintained its top global ranking in the 14th consecutive Platinum
Classification Index from the Ideas UK Organization for the third consecutive year.
Additionally, the department garnered the CMO ASIA award and recognition from the
Asian Excellence Organization in 2023 for being the Best Innovative Institution and
having the Best Innovative Design, both attributed to the giant inspection device. It also
earned the prestigious ISO 56002 – 2023 for Innovation from the globally recognized
company TUV. Further achievements include four new awards, including two gold
awards and two gold medals, at the World Inventions Exhibition organized by the
General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai. Dubai Customs
culminated its persistent innovation efforts by securing the first place in the Global
Customs Innovation Award for 2023 in the category of Innovative Value-driven Solutions.
This accolade, presented by the European Customs Practitioners Network in
collaboration with the Cross-Border Research Organization, acknowledged Dubai
Customs for its Cross-Border E-Commerce project. Over 20 customs institutions
worldwide, including Germany, Hungary, and Australia, participated in this competition.
The evaluation by the expert customs committee witnessed fierce competition among
global customs projects offering innovative solutions to expedite and streamline
business operations. Remarkably, employees of Dubai Customs submitted a total of
6,081 new ideas and innovations.
Dubai Customs, in line with its national duty to safeguard borders and contribute to
enhancing the security stability is steadfast in firmly addressing all attempts of smuggling
prohibited, restricted, and counterfeit goods. In the past year, the government
department successfully executed 3,748 seizure reports, including 1,704 cases and
2,044 customs reports. These efforts align with the department's 2021-2026 plan for
global leadership in secure customs. The department is committed to utilizing and
advancing the best technologies to tackle security challenges threatening the safety of
the economy and society. This involves the Intelligence Customs Management program,
managing the massive volume of customs transactions and identifying suspicious
Dubai Customs also focuses on training and developing its officers and customs
inspectors across all customs ports. This includes educating them on modern and
innovative methods for detecting narcotics, using advanced machinery and modern
inspection devices, and acquainting them with the latest technologies in drug detection
and the substances used in its manufacturing. The aim is to empower them to identify
prohibited substances in all forms and deal with various smuggling methods.
The "Remote Inspection" project, launched by Dubai Customs in collaboration with
Dubai South, is a groundbreaking initiative to facilitate inspection procedures and
expedite processes for clients. The initiative leverages advanced technologies, artificial
intelligence, and a dedicated robot to inspect shipments within company warehouses
efficiently, securely, and with high precision from Dubai Customs' remote operations
room. This innovative project significantly reduces time and costs, eliminating the need
for customs officers to physically visit cargo warehouses for inspection. Equipped with
multi-purpose high-resolution cameras for risk detection, the new remote inspection
system includes quality devices such as thermal and infrared cameras, long-lasting
lithium batteries with fast-charging capabilities, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
These features support effective and precise inspection operations for shipments.
Recycling 694,000 Pieces:
The number of intellectual property dispute cases handled by Dubai customs in 2023
reached approximately 333 cases, involving over 15 million counterfeit goods with a total
value of around AED 73.4 million. The recycling of counterfeit goods involved 122
operations, encompassing around 694,000 pieces of counterfeit merchandise.
In 2023, the government department conducted 131 workshops and awareness events
on intellectual property, with 1,618 participants from various categories. Additionally, 407
trademarks and 231 commercial agencies were registered, and 8 intellectual property
assets for employee innovations at Dubai Customs were recorded.
Dubai Customs granted invoicing facilities free zone companies, contributing to the
growth of trade for companies benefiting from these facilities. The department provided
opinions on 120 projects for legislation, including 42 customs legislations, 20 local
legislations, and 58 federal legislations. The self-audit service was launched, increasing
the efficiency and effectiveness of the 2023 audit plan by 39% compared to the
achievement in 2022. Dubai Customs' efforts resulted in issuing classification decisions
for approximately 24,000 tariff items and responding to around 1,850 inquiries regarding
customs tariffs, prohibitions, and restrictions. The department supported the
implementation of economic partnership agreements by issuing organized customs
policies for their execution.
Dubai Customs enhanced its efforts to facilitate travel and tourism at Dubai airports. The
department provides various qualitative facilitations for tourists and travelers. The
iDeckare program aims to expedite the passage of travelers through the red channel,
completing customs procedures in less than 4 minutes. The program allows incoming
passengers to pre-disclose goods, personal belongings, gifts, coins, and cash amounts
accompanying the traveler. The application provides information on Dubai International
Airport's facilities, including restaurant locations, duty-free shops, exit gates, and
Customs Dubai employee areas. The smart project enhances the efficiency of the
customs inspection system at Dubai airports, increases awareness about prohibited and
restricted items for travelers, and can be accessed through the Google Play and Apple
Dubai Customs, in partnership with the Finance Department of the Dubai Government,
has introduced the automation of customs-import transactions subject to taxation among
various government entities. This initiative aids in generating precise tax reports and
minimizes discrepancies in transactions.
Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program:
Dubai Customs is consistently backing the Authorized Economic Operator program,
enhancing the operations of affiliated companies. Recognized as a significant
advancement in customs procedures within the UAE, the Authorized Economic Operator
program simplifies customs clearance processes for compliant companies. As a
nationwide federal initiative, the program aims to connect the country both commercially
and customs-wise with the global community. It empowers participating companies with
streamlined access to their goods in international markets, particularly in countries with
mutual recognition agreements.
Dubai Customs has implemented 17 quality specifications across diverse areas,
encompassing ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 37000 Governance
Management System, ISO 30414 Human Capital Internal and External Reporting
System, ISO 26000 Social Responsibility System, ISO 56002 Innovation Management
System, and ISO 1000 Dispute Resolution Management System.
175 Community Initiatives:
Dubai Customs has intensified its commitment to community support through a
comprehensive initiative aligned with its social responsibility strategic plan. The
initiatives span social, health, environmental, and charitable activities, aiming to address
societal issues. In 2023, the department successfully executed a total of 175 community
initiatives, benefiting 238,000 individuals from various societal segments. The
community expressed a high satisfaction rate of 98%, as per a happiness study
conducted by the department.
The initiatives encompassed diverse projects, including the "Sawae'd Al Furdah"
initiative, programs for people of determination, the "Green Customs" initiative, as well
as awareness and educational workshops for school students, health-related awareness
sessions for employees, and sports initiatives commemorating international and national
days. These efforts were directed toward all segments of society, including children,
youth, senior citizens, people with special needs, assistance groups, and students from
schools and universities.
Over the past year, Dubai Customs organized 85 events, engaging 31,000 participants.
The satisfaction rate for these events reached an impressive 90%, according to post-
event surveys. Noteworthy events included the 8th Dubai Customs Week, UAE
Innovation Month, participation in GITEX Global Exhibition, UAE National Day
celebrations, Intellectual Property events, monthly customer recognition programs, and
Etibat initiative, fostering stronger diplomatic relations.
Dubai Customs, represented by the Customs Training Center, conducted a total of 3,913
training courses by the end of 2023, benefitting 14,317 employees. The training sessions
for each employee amounted to 24 training hours. Additionally, smart training was
provided through various educational platforms, accounting for 40%.
The training programs covered a diverse range, encompassing courses in security and
information technology, customer satisfaction, innovation, inspection, safety and
occupational health, customs work, general administrative skills, human resources,
leadership development, intellectual property rights protection, data science, artificial
intelligence, career progression, and various general awareness workshops, along with
institutional differentiation courses.