Business | Retail

Dubai fines retailers for violating rules over prices

Most of the retailers were violating the consumer protection law and manipulating sales and promotions licenses

  • By Zaher Bitar, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 June 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
  • Unfair practices such as selling defective or substandard goods, overpricing, and a failure to adhere to standards will be strictly monitored. Image for illustrative purpose only.

Dubai: The Department of Economic Development (DED) has slapped fines of up to Dh250,000 and confiscated 800 products from several shops in Dubai for violating rules, DED said Sunday.

Most of these retailers were violating the consumer protection law and manipulating sales and promotions licences granted to them presented wrong information on the discounted prices displayed, Omar Bu Shahab, CEO of The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division (CCCP) in DED, said.

Bu Shahab told Gulf News that the offenders who own these trademarks will not be able to get DED permission for discounts or sales unless they submit their applications to a specific committee designated to look at their request.

“DED formed the ‘double check’ team after it found that a number of stores have been providing inaccurate data and misguiding customers, especially tourists, claiming that they are offering up to 75 per cent discounts. The special team was aimed to shore up confidence among investors, businessmen and traders and to facilitate commercial activity in Dubai,” he added.

“The ‘double check’ team monitored outlets, particularly during the period from March until May this year, read all encrypted prices, photographed the goods before and after the promotional offers, and gathered the prices in the store’s data systems and compared them with data submitted to DED.”

“Offenders were fined under Article 14 on the rules of fines [providing incorrect data to DED] or Article 55 [mismatch between the price list approved by DED and the price list of the goods offered]. A committee has been formed to review future requests from violated companies”, added Bu Shahab.

Consumers often complain about ‘fake discounts’ being offered under a sales campaign, showing reduced price of goods, when it is not the case. Retailers usually have to obtain approval from the economic department of an individual emirates for sales and discount campaigns, which are periodically monitored. However, some of fashion retailers offer year-long 75 per cent discounts.

Mohammad Shael Al Sa’adi, CEO of Business Registration and Licensing Division (BRL) at DED said the government now aims to step up its drive against violators and will not be lenient on those engaged in illegal practices.

“The penalties would vary from warning and fines to the closure of shops,” he said.

Unfair practices such as selling defective or substandard goods, overpricing, and a failure to adhere to standards will be strictly monitored.

“It is necessary to evolve statutory measures to make producers and traders more accountable to consumers,” he said.

Comments (8)

Share your views
  1. Added 08:02 June 5, 2012

    i have seen a shop in bur dubai displaying a sign board for at least the past two years which reads "Shop Clearance - 75% Discount" and still they are there....!!!

    Shafi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:20 June 4, 2012

    The Govt should ensure further transparency and should also name the offenders so that the consumers are also aware Its no use saying that a fine was imposed-- who were these retailers on whom the fine was imposed is also important

    Mohammed, Saudi, Saudi Arabia

  3. Added 14:17 June 4, 2012

    Quote : Unfair practices such as selling defective or substandard goods, overpricing, and a failure to adhere to standards will be strictly monitored Unquote Howe do they ever establish "overpricing" ??? In my opinion a number of brands/goods in the UAE are way over-priced and not worth the money being asked for. So who sets the standards here ?

    Hussain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 13:25 June 4, 2012

    Are the discounts offered on online retail sites also monitored and above by DED? Recently i had bought a product from one of these site which claimed to offer 30% discount but later found the same product selling at another mall at even lesser price than the discounted price on the online site. I hope the authorities also look into this area where the customers are being cheated.

    SRC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 13:14 June 4, 2012

    This action is very best, Totaly stop this type of business in the U A E Actually Leading super market they are making big money from the sale promotion

    MOHAMED RIYAS, ABUDHABI, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:06 June 4, 2012

    I suppose them to check out shops, Like many of them 25% to 75% discount year long.

    Muhammad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:49 June 4, 2012

    We are seeing 75 % discount for clothings for a long time, just like it never ends :) Does that include in any of these violations ?

    Sideeque, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:21 June 4, 2012

    I have seen some fashion retailer have been advertising 75% discount since past 17 years without any break.....funny...

    Kumar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Gulf News
Retail Gold Rate
Business Editor's choice