Software piracy increasing in UAE

The software piracy rate in the UAE increased by 1% last year, according to figures from global research firm IDC cited by Business Software Alliance (BSA).

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By  Administrator Published  July 3, 2007

The software piracy rate in the UAE increased by 1% last year, according to figures from global research firm IDC cited by Business Software Alliance (BSA).

This was despite the fact that the UAE has one of the world's lowest piracy rates and the lowest piracy rate in the region.

Since 2003, the piracy rate in the UAE has remained steady at 34%, well below the average 57% for the Middle East and North Africa region, but it rose to 35% last year, according to the figures,

Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz, under-secretary at the Ministry of Economy-Planning Sector, commented that the results were deceptive, however.

"Although the rate has increased, it does not take into account the major growth of the ICT industry during the same period," he said.

"The UAE has constantly ranked in the top few countries in the region in terms of ICT indicators such as internet penetration and PC penetration, and last year was a very strong growth year. When there are drastically more people using computers, it is realistic to expect that the use of pirated software will also increase."

PC sales in the UAE are growing at a compound average growth rate of around 12%, according to Madar Research, one of the highest growth rates in the Middle East. By 2008, the PC penetration rate in the UAE will be 27% higher than the world average, the research firm predicts.

"In reality, with so many more people using PCs, the piracy rate should have increased by much more than it did," commented BSA co-chairman Jawad Al Redha (pictured).

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