Dubai:The inflation in food prices has compelled the Ministry of Economy to look for solutions to help protect consumers beat the price rise.
The Ministry has set up a committee called the Higher Committee for Consumer Protection which works under the supervision of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry.
As foodstuff prices vary across food outlets in the UAE, the Consumer Protection Committee is encouraging people to take a few steps when going grocery shopping in order to avoid unneccessarily spending a lot of money.
The "Himaya" or protection programme includes basic guidelines, booklets, brochures and advertisement stickers have been issued around the UAE to help people living here save some of their hard-earned money.
Consumers around the country will soon receive SMSs on their cell phones alerting them on how to be smart shoppers and how to choose the best items and still pay less money and in that way partly overcome the high cost of living in the UAE.
The Ministerial Committee also follows up issues concerning consumers and residents can approach the Disputes Settlement Committees (DSC) on disputes between consumers and retailers.
The UAE's Consumer Federal Law no. 24/2006 helps consumers by monitoring prices and by laying out mechanisms to deal with such hikes to balance the high costs of living here.
The government is asking the public to report activities such as manipulation of the market and prices, to the Consumer Protection Department.
If you feel that prices are being increased indiscriminately in the market or your regular grocery, you can make a complaint to the Department over the toll free number: 600522225.
You can also fax the Department at (02) 6271021, or email to Consumer@economy.ae
The postal address of the Department is P.O. Box: 901, Abu Dhabi.
The Ministry of Economy has also set up a website where you can check food prices weekly on the indictor at www.economy.ae