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.