The country has enough stock of food products to meet the demands during the holy month of Ramadan, said Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy.
He said there is no price hike when purchasing food products from supermarkets and wholesalers like cooperative societies. However, some retailers and small shops in residential areas often exploit customers. He pointed out that the promotions offered for goods during the holy month of Ramadan will be controlled by the ministry on a regular basis. “Anybody willing to make promotional offers must get a prior approval from the local economic department in order to avert manipulation since there is no federal law that governs and regularises that matter.” He added that there are more than 300 promotional offers in various shops across the UAE for the Ramadan season.
“Some outlets fool consumers by posting notices saying that the offer will continue till the stock lasts. They even do not mention the original price of the commodity,” he stated.
During a Press conference held on Monday at the Union Cooperative Society (UCS), Al Nuaimi said that the ministry’s inspection teams can now issue fines up to one million dirhams on violators as per the new consumer protection law in the event of monopolising commodities.
Khalid Al Falasi, Director-General of the Union Cooperative Society, said that the society had faced some challenges at the end of last year when the supply of some products were interrupted and some suppliers dealing with the UCS provided the society with low-quality products at the same price of quality products. However, the society managed to keep the situation under control. He said the society is providing customers with quality products similar to those sold in Europe and America. Al Falasi called upon the consumers to verify the production and expiry dates of items before buying them.
Meanwhile, the society announced the launch of Ramadan offers that include a total of 120 products, at a subsidy of Dh18 million in total, which is part of the society’s social and economic initiatives.
The social initiative, which covers 20 commodities, will start on July 14 with a subsidy of Dh3 million, and would help cut down the price of products by 20 per cent. The economic initiative includes 100 goods at a subsidy of Dh15 million.