๐Ÿ“„ The Dubai Blog

Translations for the Import Export Industry

Date: 6th November 2021

Author: Gabriel Sturges


Let's set the scene: you have an excellent product or service that has triumphed domestically, and now you would like to enter into foreign markets. Your new business venture brings with it great excitement, but also a new set of barriers to jump through. One big barrier you will find labeling and documentation.

The import and export industry is a behemoth, worth well over 1 trillion USD per year in the United States alone and providing over 9.8 million jobs on an international level. Before moving on, a few fun facts about the import and export industry:

  • On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 made history with the first human operated expedition to the moon. Upon return, Astronaut Neil Armstrong and his colleagues had to declare tariff-exempt moon rock and moon dust samples to customs officials!

  • Importing switchblades into the United States is illegal โ€“ except if the switch blades are being personally brought in by someone without an arm...

As we can see above, when importing or exporting goods and products, entry into a foreign market is dependent on compliance with the local legislation and even cultural cues of said foreign locale. By making sure that you get things right the first time, you can save yourself a great deal of time and effort in promoting your product.

Most obviously, any import or export needs to abide by the labeling and packing norms set by governments. Many governments require, for example, that all food products show nutritional content and ingredients. This means that for market entry into the European Union, for example, food labels need to be translated into well over 20 languages.

Beyond the simple listing of ingredients in various foreign languages, one must also consider the reception of a product's name in the target market. There are many, many examples of product names that will make language lovers chuckle, with some famous ones being the Mitsubishi Pajero in Latin America, and the Toyota MR2 in France.

Dubai is quickly turning into one of the largest business hubs in the world. Whether you are producing products in Dubai that need to get to clients around the world, or you want to see your products on the shelves of the United Arab Emirates, getting your packaging translated in to Arabic will help you make the impact you want.

Do you need to import and export goods internationally and need translation help? If so, get in touch with Idiomatic Translations here.