Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Economy on Wednesday said it will ensure there is enough food supply throughout Ramadan to prevent hikes in prices, which are being closely monitored and regulated.
The measures include Ramadan discounts by major retailers on 5,000 items, in addition to the ongoing price caps on 4,000 items throughout the year. Moreover, the ministry will carry out 400 inspection visits to ensure compliance with consumer laws during Ramadan.
The announcement came during a special meeting with the press at the ministry’s Abu Dhabi office. The event was held under the patronage of Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, and chaired by Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the ministry’s Consumer Protection Department.
It follows the latest directives of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection, which is chaired by the minister. Dr Al Nuaimi said the ministry has held more than 55 meetings with various suppliers of essential food items — such as rice, oil, flour, milk, fruits and vegetables — urging them to maintain sufficient stock of their products during Ramadan, which witnesses higher demand for these items.
He also cited the role of local cooperative societies and hypermarkets to maintain the prices of over 4,000 consumer items during the year.
Dr Nuaimi explained that these outlets will also be launching discount campaigns — worth an estimated Dh260 million in total — on the most essential items during Ramadan. He added that these campaigns will include discounts of up to 70 per cent in prices.
He said that daily imports in Dubai alone will reach 18,000 tonnes in Ramadan, while Abu Dhabi’s daily imports will reach 4,000 tonnes.
The director added that the figures are a result of the ministry’s request to raise the level of imports by at least 30 per cent during Ramadan to ensure the availability of supply and maintain prices.
Dr Al Nuaimi also reiterated the ministry’s commitment towards increasing consumer awareness in the UAE, educating people of their rights as a consumer and about positive purchasing practices.
He said the ministry is keen to communicate with consumers and can receive complaints, suggestions and feedback through its Consumer Protection Call Centre on 600522225. He added that from the beginning of this year until May 22, the call centre received 7,957 complaints that were classified into nine categories: price increase, cars, electronics, phones, furniture, spare parts and tyres, real estate, credit cards and others.
For complaints, dial the Consumer Protection Call Centre hotline 600522225.